Colin Edwards to test three CRT bikes in Mugello

By Matthew Birt -

MotoGP

 14 July 2012 19:06

Colin Edwards seems certain to be on the brink of ditching the struggling Suter-BMW project after confirming to MCN he will test three different CRT bikes at Mugello on Monday.

The Texan has been growing increasingly frustrated at the lack of progress made with the Suter-BMW project, which features a tuned S1000RR motor and Swiss-built Suter frame.

The 38-year-old has been continually hampered by malfunctioning and erratic Bosch electronics that make riding the Suter-BMW an experience fraught with uncertainty and danger.

Edwards’ patience at the lack of tangible progress with the bike has been wearing thin and MCN learned prior to the recent German Grand Prix that his Forward Racing squad was contemplating an imminent change of machinery.

It was revealed that Edwards would test Michele Pirro’s FTR-Honda at the post race test in Mugello on Monday but he confirmed to MCN tonight that he will also evaluate the Avintia Blusens BQR machine ridden by Yonny Hernandez and Mattia Pasini’s Aprilia ART machine.

The double World Superbike champion was also scheduled to test a revised engine and new chassis on the Suter-BMW before advising his Forward Racing squad of his preference for the rest of the 2012 campaign.

If he opts for the FTR-Honda, MCN understands he could have at least one machine ready for his crucial home race in Laguna Seca on July 29.

And with rumours that Pasini’s Speed Master squad has hit budget problems, Edwards could either takeover the Italian’s Aprilia ART machinery, or take one bike if the Italian squad can continue for the California clash. Another possible scenario being rumoured is Pasini moving to Forward Racing to partner Edwards for the second half of the season.

Edwards has had a disastrous 2012 and he will start tomorrow’s Italian Grand Prix from 19th on the grid having finished a massive 4.064s off pole position.

And he was two seconds behind Aleix Espargaro, who finished top CRT rider on the Aspar ART machine.

He has scored a best result of 12th in Qatar and Sachsnenring and speaking to MCN in Germany earlier this month he said: “It hasn’t got to the point where I’ve said I’m not going to ride this thing anymore because that is not me.

"I knew it was going to be a challenging come here but when you put yourself in the team manager’s position, he is aware of the ability that I have and to go out and qualify last on a track I love like Assent and risking everything.

"My view is to go out and ride whatever the s**t out of whatever I’ve got underneath me but that is getting harder. I have no confirmed anything for the future.

"Are we talking about trying (to switch bikes) then sure? But honestly I have no clue if that is going to be tomorrow, three weeks or the end of the year. We have talked about different bikes but I’ve told them I’d take a Vespa at this moment.”