MotoGP: Colin Edwards happy at Yamaha revival

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Colin Edwards has spoken of his personal satisfaction at his critical role in helping spark a revival in fortunes for Yamaha in the 2008 MotoGP world championship.

After a torrid 2007 campaign where Yamaha engineers came in for some fierce criticism from Edwards and then factory team-mate Valentino Rossi, the start to 2008 has been a remarkable turnaround.

A Yamaha YZR-M1 machine has claimed pole position in each of the opening four races so far this season, with three for Fiat-backed rider Jorge Lorenzo and one for Edwards in Shanghai last weekend.

Two Yamaha riders occupy places in the top four in the championship, and Lorenzo and Rossi have already taken one win apiece in Estoril and Shanghai respectively.

And Edwards is happy to see the Japanese factory enjoying an upturn in fortunes after he played a key role during winter testing.

The American told MCN: “The black and white of it is that there was no Valentino over the early part of winter. And with his lack of experience at that time, Jorge had nothing to do with development in November. 

“Sure he tested some things to get a direction but the reality is that I did all the testing on the new bike in November. In Sepang and Jerez I picked out what I liked about certain things and now we have got a bike that everybody can ride and not just one guy like we’ve seen in the past.

“I’m not tooting my own horn, but we have a bike that four guys can ride comfortably on at a fast pace which has never been the Yamaha thing.”

Tech 3 Yamaha rider Edwards, who has confirmed that he no longer wants to quit MotoGP at the end of the season, said Rossi’s departure from Michelin had also helped the likes of Lorenzo and factory Honda rider Dani Pedrosa.

Having switched to Bridgestone, Valentino Rossi’s loss was feared to have a massive impact on Michelin.

But Edwards said: “With no Valentino to spearhead the Michelin development, we all did our own thing and Michelin started to decide to build tyres for certain guys.

“Instead of focusing on just what Valentino wanted we all got our own direction.

“We don’t have Valentino on Michelin’s and nothing against him because won on Michelin a million times, but he swallowed up a lot of development.”

Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt