Colin Edwards made a low-key debut on the Suter/BMW 1000cc MotoGP bike in Jerez yesterday when he ended the opening day one second slower than Scott Redding’s fastest Moto2 pace.
The vastly experienced Texan completed 39-laps on the Forward Racing machine, which is powered by a tuned BMW S1000RR engine in a chassis designed and built by Swiss specialist Eskil Suter.
Edwards finished with a best time of 1.43.9, which was a benchmark matched or bettered by five riders testing Moto2 machinery at the Andalusia track.
Riding just over four weeks since he suffered left shoulder and arm injuries in the Sepang crash that claimed the life of popular Italian star Marco Simoncelli, Edwards finished 1.6s faster than Inmotec rider Ivan Silva and 1.8s quicker than Yonny Hernandez on the BQR-FTR Kawasaki.
It is clear though that the new independent 1000cc projects (CRT) designed to bolster plummeting grid numbers and make MotoGP more affordable have much work to do.
The Suter/BMW project has been on track for well over a year yet Edwards was just over four seconds away from his qualifying time of 1.39.895 during this year's Spanish Grand Prix that put him eighth on the grid on board Yamaha's prototype YZR-M1 machine.
Casey Stoner’s 2011 pole position was a 1.38.757 while Dani Pedrosa’s lap record set in 2010 stands at 1.39.731