Make no mistake about the fact that we are well into the 2011 Silly Season, a festive time where paddock gossip is rife with the movings and rumors of where riders and teams will land for the following season. With MotoGP set this weekend to make its second American appearance for the year, we are kicking off the rumormill reports properly with talk of where Colin Edwards will race in 2012. Rumored to be in World Superbike for 2012, the Texan Tornado has been linked to both a factory Ducati ride in WSBK and a factory seat at BMW Motorrad.
Speaking to Asphalt & Rubber and other journalists at a conference call hosted by the Indianapolis Motor Speedway yesterday (a transcript of that is in the works), Edwards alluded to the fact that we wouldn’t hear about his future plans at Indy, and likely not at the San Marino GP as well. The Texan did clue the assembled press into the fact that he wasn’t ready to retire his racing spurs yet, and would likely be racing in some form or another for the 2012 season.
With most of the paddock gossip regarding Edwards linking him to a ride with Ducati (Edwards has acknowledged talking to BMW Motorrad as well), there is at least a precedent for the news as Edwards was close to signing a deal with the Ducati Corse World Superbike team for the 2011 season. Of course that deal dematerialized when Ducati pulled out of WSBK, leaving Edwards to ride another season in MotoGP with Tech3 Yamaha.
Knowing that his children have never seen him on the top-step of the podium box, and that the old dogs of MotoGP are dominating the World Superbike Championship series right now, the Texan Tornado surely must be eyeing WSBK as a place where he can once again race for the front. With Ducati set to debut the 2012 Ducati Superbike 1199 Superquadrata later this year, Edwards could have a stout machine at his disposal as well.
Adding more fuel to the fire is Yamaha’s not-so-discrete overtures towards wanting Eugene Laverty in the MotoGP Championship, who would presumably join Cal Crutchlow in the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 garage. With motorcycle racing’s unofficial official game of musical chairs now kicking off, we expect we’ll see a great deal of chatter, speculation, and insight as to where all the riders will land for next year. Stay tuned.