Announcing his decision during the pre-event press conference for the Red Bull Grand Prix of the Americas, Colin Edwards told the assembled press that 2014 would be the Texan’s last season racing a motorcycle.

Citing a lack of improvement on his performance in pre-season testing and at the Qatar GP, Edwards decision perhaps answers the lingering question in the paddock of when the American rider would hang-up his spurs after an illustrious career in AMA, WSBK and MotoGP.

Talking about his inability to come to terms with the Forward Yamaha, which Aleix Espargaro was able to take to the front of the pack in Qatar, Edwards was at a loss when it came to understanding the Open Class machine and his lack of results.

Saying that the prospect, or lack there of, regarding a chassis from FTR did not factor into his decision, Edwards also cited his desire to spend more time with wife and kids, all of whom were in attendance at the press conference.

“Pre-season was a little tough, testing was a little tough. I wasn’t really getting the results that I wanted, and I realized I had to really change my body, my style,” said Edwards about when he came to the decisions to retire. “Trying to do that was…I was like man I don’t know if I can do this!”

Saying that the decision to retire has been on Texan’s mind for the past month, Edwards added that “My wife hadn’t asked me [about retiring] for a couple months, we had talked a little bit about it, and then finally last week she’s like ‘are you going to retire on Thursday?’ and I said ‘yes’ and she said ‘shit, I didn’t want to ask!’ because…my whole life has been racing motorcycles.”

“I know it’s the right decision for myself, and for my family…and I’ve got a next stage to my career, and I need to figure out what that is,” said Edwards. “The Boot Camp is a business, it would pay the bills, but at the same time, the Boot Camp survives because I’m here [in MotoGP].”

“It’ll be alright, but I’m looking for something else to do. If I’m sitting at home 365 days a year, my wife would kill me. So I have to come up with something to do. There are a couple teams out there that I have hinted around being involved in, and obvious media stuff and TV stuff…this is why we’re at the second race of the season, I’ve got all year to figure that out.”

Sitting next to Edwards during his announcement, Valentino Rossi was the first MotoGP rider to comment on the Texan’s retirement, which was fitting because of the two riders’ close relationship.

“I am very, very sad about the news because Colin is one of my best friends in the paddock and between all the riders,” explained Valentino Rossi. “We shared the bike together in the [Suzuka] 8hrs in 2001, also in 2000, and I think this is the best memory we have together because we won.”

“And also we were teammates for a long, long time in a great moment of my career, and a great season for me with the Yamaha. Always we stay together in the box, especially we enjoy a lot, and Colin would come to Tavullia with the motocross bike,” added Rossi. “I am sad because he is a great guy, and a great rider.”

Breaking the somber mood in the room, Marc Marquez added his own thoughts to Edwards’ retirement announcement.

“I hope that mine will be in many years, but when you see the retirement of a rider, you are a little bit sad of course. But anyway Colin, he should be proud of his career,” said Marquez.

“He started his career in the World Championship when I was two-years-old, so that is what I can say of him,” Marquez added with a smile, which caused great laughter from Edwards and the rest of the room.

The Texas Tornado will surely be missed in the MotoGP paddock, as was seen by the standing ovation he received after his announcement and the kind words from his friends and colleagues.

Photos: © 2014 Scott Jones / Scott Jones Photography – All Rights Reserved

  • jimmy smith JR

    It’s sad but it was time. Easy to figure out why. Each kid adds a tenth.

  • Ken C.

    He will be sorely missed. One of my favorite riders, he was always good for honest, often comedic, commentary. Also, it’s sad to lose yet another American rider in the paddock.

  • Lewis Dawson

    The Texas Tornado has had a long career in racing, with many ‘ups’ and some notable ‘downs’ as well. Two WSBK championships with Honda might be the highlight, as both came at the peak of superbike racing’s popularity and relevance. And a decade in MotoGP as a popular journeyman is no small accomplishment either. Colin will be missed in the paddock, for sure.

  • Ken C.

    How about calling up Josh Hayes to replace him?

    Just saying. ;)

  • Rico Bustamente

    In my opinion, Hayes is too old…. Danny Eslick would be cool though

  • TheSeaward

    I’ve been meaning to go down to his school in Texas for a while now. Sad to see him go.

  • TexusTim

    sad to see it but it had to come…..3 cheers for a great rider, he will be missed.

  • kylewwh

    Colin got his championships after the kids..

  • jzj

    I’ve always wanted CEII to succeed, but it’s clear he’s lost his speed. The first rule in racing is beat your teammate (the guy on the same equipment): this year, Colin is getting just trounced by his teammate, and that is not okay with anyone.

    For America’s future overseas, I have hopes for Cameron Beaubier, who won every AMA Daytona Sportbike race last year and has graduated to AMA Superbike and won in his second race: but he will have to follow the usual path – take AMA Superbike, then win at World Superbike, then take a satellite seat in MotoGP – so at best he is several years out.

  • Rednick

    Congratulations Colin ! You have always been one of my favorite riders to follow and LOVE to hear those old racing stories . Nobody can tell it like you do ! You should be very proud of your accomplishments in racing.

    Maybe we’ll get to see you around the USA tracks, I hope.

  • This was expected. Perhaps not at this stage of the year, but with the way Aleix ran off to the front and Colin stayed behind, you kinda had to expect such an announcement.

    He’s one of my favourite riders on the grid. He will be missed. The Boot Camp is definitely on my bucket list.

  • P.S. – That photo of Colin is a perfect representation of how the front-tire carcass deflects and compresses under heavy braking. There’s one helluva lot of ‘out of round’ captured in that photo. Fantastic!

  • Jw

    This is not the time to get the stats out. I congratulate him for many years and contributions to the sport and for wanting to be more present for his family. In a few years there will be one American in the MOTOGP class if we are lucky. With 2 tracks in the USA I wish there could be more u.s. Riders coming up

  • L2C

    Great man. Singular. Great career and I wish him nothing but the best. He will definitely be missed, but I would love to hear him commentating the races. I’m sure he would be great at that, as well.

    Thanks for everything, Colin!

  • T140

    I can’t say I agree with his statement about the Boot Camp surviving because he’s in still in MotoGP. Now that he has more time to devote to it, I would think it would be even more successful. I know I would love to go down there sometime soon. Hoping he joins some of the commentary on the broadcasts of races now.

  • Andy O

    With Colin’s easy to like personality and sense of humor he surely should end up commentating on MotoGP or Super bike races.

    Come on down to Australia and be Darryl Beattie’s sidekick commentating the MotoGP on channel ten.

    Us Aussies used to have Barry Sheene do the duites, he was funny as a fit and it was brilliant to listen to the tales of the old days.

    Colin would fill those very big shoes very well.
    He is just what the broadcasters need, a breath of fresh air.

    Congratulations Colin on being a great racer and a great guy.

  • proudAmerican

    Colin seemed to be the only guy who ‘truly enjoyed’ acting in those goofy Yamaha videos. :-)

    Enjoy retirement dude. You definitely deserve it.

  • Vinod

    So long mate. You have entertained us much enough. Its time for you to spend more time with your family. We will miss you for not seeing you at the next season.