Colin Edwards pushing for FTR chassis test

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Colin Edwards is pushing to test a new British-built FTR frame on his new Yamaha-powered Forward Racing MotoGP machine after a tough start to winter testing in Malaysia recently.

The experienced Texan could only finish 14th fastest on the FTR-Yamaha, which runs an engine, chassis and swingarm package identical to the YZR-M1 that Cal Crutchlow rode at the end of last season.

Edwards was 1.7s behind the impressive pace of new teammate Aleix Espargaro, who pulled off the first big shock of 2014 by setting the fourth fastest time on the new FTR-Yamaha, which will race in the Open class this year.

Edwards had been hoping to test an FTR frame during the opening Sepang showdown, but the chassis is not yet ready.

He raced an FTR frame last season with a Kawasaki ZX-10R motor for Forward Racing and is eager to see how the outsourced frame compares to the prototype Yamaha version he evaluated in Malaysia last week.

Asked when he could anticipate getting the chance to assess the FTR chassis package, Edwards told MCN: “It is up in the air. FTR are building a chassis but when it is going to be delivered I wasn’t happy with, so we are pushing them to hurry it up a little. The whole project was Yamaha, FTR and Forward, so I was expecting something for the first test to be honest but we didn’t have anything here in terms of an FTR chassis.”

When asked by MCN why he was pushing hard to get the FTR frame when he is running a factory version supplied by Yamaha that in theory should be the better option, Edwards added: “It is a good question and 100% there is a lot of merit to that. Yamaha will say, and everyone else that Yamaha will build a better chassis. But I know what I ran on last year and the feeling I had and how it reacted and stiffness and flex. I was happy with that at the end of last year.  If nothing else it would be interesting to try it.”

Edwards said he hoped the FTR frame would be ready to test in Sepang next week or at the final pre-season shakedown in Qatar next month.

But he is still in the dark over the specific arrival date and he added: “Last I know there was a phone call to hurry up. The plan is that when it’s ready we will test it. It would nice to test it during testing and not when we are racing.”

Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt