As we published at the Indianapolis GP this past weekend, Colin Edwards’ time in the Monster Yamaha Tech3 garage seemed to be coming to an end, as the veteran MotoGP racer and former-World Superbike Champion was linked to several other possibilities in WSBK and MotoGP for the 2012 season. Making his thoughts clear, Edwards believes there’s some value to the claiming rule team (CRT) formula, saying ”I think there’ll be tracks where it’s going to surprise some people.”

Finally releasing his plans for the 2012 season, Edwards announced today at the San Marino GP that he will race for the Italian NGM Forward Racing team, on a CRT bike, next season. While the team has been linked to a BMW/Suter motor and chassis, Edwards will use instead an R1 motor with a custom chassis. The preference right now is for Tech3’s Guy Coulon to make a chassis for the R1 motor, as the team did for its own Moto2 effort, but nothing has been finalized with the French MotoGP team.

Talking to our friend David Emmett from MotoMatters, Tech 3 Boss Hervé Poncharal denied that Tech 3 has even explored the idea of a custom chassis for an R1 motor; however, catching Guy Coulon at the Indianapolis GP, the French Crew Chief for Colin Edwards explained to A&R that he had all the technical requirements for such a job already at hand, and just needed to hear from those on the business end of things (presumably Poncharal) to undertake building the project.

When the press conference panel was probed on the details of the CRT entry, Edwards made it clear he would ride with a Yamaha motor, and appealed to Poncharal to have Tech 3 make NGM a custom chassis. “We will be riding a Yamaha engine, for those of you who want to know,” blurted Edwards. “As far as a chassis…Hervé do you want to answer this?”

“We are still weighing out the options,” Edwards continued. “My #1 option would be to have Hervé Poncharal, Guy Coulon, and Tech 3 build a chassis for us, but we still in negotiations with that. But for me, that would be the dream team — to have a Yamaha and a Tech 3 chassis.”

Edwards hedged his confidence about using the R1 motor for his CRT team, confiding that no deal has been finalized with Yamaha, though there are links between NGM Forward Racing and the Yamaha World Superbike effort. “My first contract with Yamaha was 1986, full-factory support, three bikes a year, unlimited parts list…I could have had whatever I wanted,” explained Edwards. “I was 12-years-old at the time and motorcrossing. So, in my entire career I’ve had 16 years I’ve been with Yamaha — road racing: 13 years.”

He added though, “for me it’s natural…I have full support back home in the U.S. — they really are keen to do it. Have I gotten the word, or the go-ahead, that it absolutely is going to happen? No, but it’s natural. It always seems fitting. I’m part of the Yamaha family, I always have been. It’s a natural step that we’re going to do this, so let’s do this on a Yamaha.”

While we’ll have to wait and see how all the pieces of the puzzle fit together for Edwards, NGM Forward Racing, and MotoGP, one thing is for certain: a lot is riding on the success of the CRT program in premier motorcycle class racing. Time will tell how it all pans out.

Photo: © 2011 Scott Jones Photography – All Rights Reserved

  • liango13

    I am a huge fan of Colin, but I seriously think he should ride superbikes again and retire with couple more championships under his belt.

  • RSVDan

    Nooooooooooooooooooo!!!! There goes my hopes of ever seeing Edwards anywhere near the front of the pack again. He could have had a good shot at the title in WSBK on good machinery, instead he is resigning himself to the role of back marker development rider.


  • A brave effort, but I’m afraid like all the CRT guys he will be resigned to racing to try and break into the top 10 a couple of times a year.

  • Keith

    Yea; would much preferred to see him on Yamaha WSBK or another top flight team in 2012. Wish him all the best…..

  • Bruce Monighan

    Not sure what the politics were at Tech3 but Colin has delivered them more success than anybody in recent history. He has made their bike better, he has given them many many top 10 placements and he is running high in this years MotoGP. I know that Tech3 is suposed to be a devlelopment team bringing in young talent and Colin is far from young, but with all due respect to Cal he is nowhere near the racer that Colin is. The rumor is that they want Laverty on the team and he also, while talented, will get ground up in the MotoGP world. This series is the best of the best and for Colin to be there as long as he has, outlived many other stars and still places consistently high is a testament to his skills as a racer, his tenacity, his guts and his commitment. I can only hope he embaresses a few people on his new ride.

    Kick it Colin, you got a lot of fans pulling for you

  • Westward

    Colin Edwards back in WSBK could have supplanted Fogarty as the king of that series… But since he is still one of the best, he should be competing with the best in MotoGP….

    He deserves a factory bike though…

  • Damo

    I am very interested to see how the larger fuel allotment helps the CRT teams. They may run bonkers engines and don’t have to min max so much. Well if anyone can do it the Tornado can.