The CRT rumors continue to swell around Colin Edwards, as the American rider is now being linked to the Italian NGM Forward Racing team for the 2012 MotoGP racing season. Slated to make an announcement at Misano about his future, Edwards has made no secret to the fact that he’s intrigued with the CRT’s possibilities. “I think there’ll be tracks where it’s going to surprise some people,” said Edwards to Asphalt & Rubber while talking about the CRT formula’s potential.
While Edwards also went on to say that “there will be tracks I think where a CRT bike will get its doors blown off,” the two-time World Superbike Champion concluded his thoughts on the subject saying that an R1 motor in a custom chassis would be a lethal combo. “For me, the weapon of choice if you were going to go CRT would be that. 100%.”
Such a Yamaha-derived solution would have likely come from Edwards’ current team: Monster Yamaha Tech 3, which has had a healthy relationship with Yamaha over the years, and also has a strong history of being the top satellite effort in MotoGP. Talking to Guy Coulon, Edwards’s crew chief at Tech 3, A&R has learned that at the very least Tech 3 has explored the idea of a CRT bike with an R1 motor at one point. Coulon briefly outlined to us that he had all the necessary schematics and specifications, based in-part from his Moto2 chassis design, to build a prototype frame for the production motor, but just needed word from on-high to undertake such a project.
That idea seems to have faded though, as Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Boss Hervé Poncharal confirmed to A&R that the French team would be running two satellite Yamaha YZR-M1 motorcycles next year, though he wouldn’t confirm who would be riding them. “Next year we will have two Yamaha M1 factory-supported bike like we have now, and I think we’ll have only two Moto2 bikes. That’s it,” explained Poncharal. “We’re not going to run the CRT…it’s too much [re: work].”
This doesn’t mean that the CRT idea has faded for Edwards though, as the American has been linked to NGM Forward Racing, whose CRT application for 2012 has already been accepted by IRTA. The Forward team is expected to run a BMW-powered Suter bike in 2012 MotoGP Championship, though Edwards’s comments about the R1 raise some eyebrows in that regard to a certain degree. So far the BMW/Suter has been off the pace of the faster riders on their 1,000-spec bikes, though the CRT effort has made great leaps already in its development.
With Colin Edwards’ development prowess on-board the CRT effort, the Texas Tornado could be what takes the concept to its next level, and would also put a more comparable rider at the helm for performance comparisons (with all due respect to Mika Kallio). As there is a lengthy list of potential riders already talking to Tech 3 (Andrea Dovizioso, Bradley Smith, Andrea Iannone, and Eugene Laverty), should Edwards leave, there appears the possibility for some shuffling in the musical chairs game of Silly Season 2011.