Colin Edwards has announced he will retire at the conclusion of the 2014 MotoGP season. The announcement came during the pre-event press conference ahead of this weekend’s Austin MotoGP race — Edwards’ home round.
The two-time World Superbike champion cited a lack of progress from winter testing as one reason for the decision.
“This year we started testing and didn’t really see the improvement that I wanted to see and obviously the changing of the riding style – hell I’m 40 years old and trying to change my riding style to make this bike work, wasn’t really working,” he said. The latest generation of Yamaha M1s favor a rear-biased riding style. Edwards has been on record many times stating how he’s always relied on a front-end style, making the past few years especially difficult for him.
Another, more personal reason is the desire to spend more time with wife, Alyssia, and their three kids. Clearly, this wasn’t a decision taken lightly, but after many discussions with Alyssia, “We had a few conversations and there are some things that I miss out on – baseball, gymnastics, school. I need to be home a lot more.”
Edwards career speaks for itself. He stormed onto the scene in the early 90s, after a successful motocross career as a youth. By 1994 he had already won a AMA 250cc championship and won his first AMA Superbike race on a Vance and Hines Yamaha. The following year saw him move to Europe to compete on the world scene, to which he said, “and these young bastards have been kicking my ass since then!”
While Edwards may be known as a Yamaha man, as he has spent most of his career with the brand, he biggest success came as a Honda rider, where he won the 2000 and 2002 World Superbike titles (the latter in a thrilling battle with Ducati-mounted Troy Bayliss, at the last race of the season, which Edwards credits as his most memorable victory).
He made the jump to MotoGP in 2003, riding Aprilia, Honda, and Yamaha machinery, before being the first big-name rider to accept and sign-on to the CRT category with Forward Racing, where he’s been ever since. While he never won a MotoGP race (though he came one corner shy of beating Nicky Hayden for the 2006 victory at Assen), he has 12 podium finishes and three pole positions to his credit.
Apart from the Grand Prix and World Superbike accomplishments, Edwards’ other international achievements include winning the illustrious 8-hours of Suzuka, first in 1996 on a Yamaha, partnering with Noriyuki Haga (who would later be charged with using illegal drugs, handing the 2000 WSBK championship to Edwards), then in 2001 with Valentino Rossi, and again in 2002 with the late Daijiro Kato. Both times aboard a Honda.
Edwards opened his Texas Tornado Boot Camp riding school in 2011, where it is believed he will spend more of his time once he hangs up his leathers.