Colin Edwards will get his first chance to understand the performance potential of the new Suter/BMW 1000cc machine when he makes his debut for the Forward Racing squad in Jerez tomorrow (Wednesday).
The American is the highest profile rider so far to sign a deal to ride for a new independent 1000cc project (CRT) in 2012 and he will take part in a three-day test at the Spanish track this week.
It will be the first time the Texan has been on track since he was involved in the accident that claimed the life of popular Italian star Marco Simoncelli during the Malaysian Grand Prix at Sepang last month.
The 37-year-old suffered a dislocated left shoulder in the Sepang accident and he underwent surgery to re-attach cartilage that had separated from his humerus bone, which connects the shoulder to the elbow.
The Suter/BMW is the most extensively tested CRT project but the vast experience Edwards brings is sure to give a clearer indication of the potential of the bike, which features a highly tuned S1000RR motor housed in a Swiss-built Suter Racing Technology frame.
The new production-based bikes have been around four seconds a lap slower during tests in Brno and Valencia and Edwards told MCN: “We are all excited about this new project but I think right now there is still a big question mark. Looking at the lap times doesn’t worry me because we just have to work.
"It will be interesting because I’ve been on the Yamaha chassis for seven years, so I’m looking forward to working on this new bike. I’ve been on World Superbikes and a lot of years in MotoGP, so now it will be a mix of the two I think it will be cool.
"We’ll have to rely a lot on electronics and the chassis and get the thing to put the rubber on the ground and find traction.”
Edwards signed for the Forward Racing squad in Misano back in early September having spent 2011 as team-mate to Cal Crutchlow in the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 squad.