Veteran American Colin Edwards has spoken of his excitement at renewing his association with Yamaha for the 2014 MotoGP world championship.
Edwards will ride the FTR-Yamaha in the Forward Racing squad next season and will be back on a Yamaha for the first time since he left the Monster-backed Tech 3 squad at the end of 2011.
Edwards has also been a Yamaha factory rider in MotoGP and World Superbikes and after making his debut on the YZR-M1-powered FTR-Yamaha in Valencia last week, he told MCN: “It is so nice to be back on a Yamaha and those guys know how to build an engine. It is a freight train and it just pulls and pulls.”
Edwards is just delighted to be back on a package he believes will be very competitive next season after new teammate Aleix Espargaro finished the first shakedown of the FTR-Yamaha in 10th place during the recent Valencia MotoGP test.
The FTR-Yamaha uses a YZR-M1 engine and chassis package previously raced by the satellite Monster Yamaha Tech squad.
Under non-factory rules, it can run four more litres than the factory prototypes (24 litres) and use softer Bridgestone tyres.
The non-factory machinery though must also run Dorna-supplied Magneti Marelli software and hardware in 2014. The factory prototypes must run the standard ECU but they are still free to run their own software strategies for traction control, engine braking and anti-wheelie.
Edwards has raced in the CRT category recently and struggled to make any impact on the Suter-BMW in 2012 and then on an FTR-Kawasaki this season.
And he said it was ‘awesome’ to be given the chance to jump on the FTR-Yamaha in the twilight of his long career.
Edwards, who will be 40 when the 2014 campaign gets underway in Qatar on March 23, said: “It is awesome to get this opportunity at this stage of my career. This is why I came to Forward Racing a couple of years ago to actually build something.
"Next year we are finally building something instead of just putting a bike on the grid. We’ve been building up the right structure and team and now we’ve got the right bike too. Yamaha are putting a lot of time and effort into it and they want to see it succeed.”