Colin Edwards: “My two big choices were Vermeulen or Haslam”

By Matthew Birt -

MotoGP

 09 May 2012 15:07

Colin Edwards advised his Forward Racing MotoGP squad that Chris Vermeulen and Leon Haslam were his preferred options to replace him during next weekend’s French Grand Prix at Le Mans.

The Texan will be absent from the French round after breaking his left collarbone in five places following an unlucky incident in Estoril last weekend.

Edwards was cruising way off the racing line during qualifying when Randy de Puniet crashed and the Frenchman’s Aprilia ART machine slammed into the double World Superbike champion.

Edwards underwent a successful two-hour operation at the Dexeus Institut in Barcelona earlier this week. He needed 10 screws and a titanium plate inserted to stabilise the left collarbone, which was broken for the fourth time.

The injury definitely rules Edwards out of the Le Mans race and he has targeted a return to action in Barcelona on June 3.

The Forward Racing squad confirmed earlier today that 2007 Le Mans winner and former factory Suzuki rider Vermeulen will take his ride on the Suter-BMW in the fourth round of the 2012 world championship.

MCN spoke exclusively to 38-year-old Edwards last night before he flew home to Texas earlier this morning to gauge his opinion on who should be his substitute.

And he told MCN: “Vermeulen would be awesome if he stepped in. My two big choices were Vermeulen because I know he would give some really good information with his experience. And the other was Leon.”

Edwards said he was keen to have seen Haslam on the bike as he has vast BMW experience due to his time with the German factory’s official World Superbike squad.
He added: “Leon doesn’t have a race that weekend and it would be good to hear what he says.

"We share quite a lot of information with the BMW factory World Superbike team as we are on the same engines. We’re trying to help each other out. I’d be curious to hear his information but if Chris was to do it then that would be fantastic too.”

MCN understands that Haslam was approached about the Edwards ride but he told MCN: “I like riding and racing any motorbike, but right now my priorities are with BMW Motorrad and WSB. We’re at a crucial part of the WSB season and we’re making good progress with my S1000RR.”