Colin Edwards admits doubt over FTR chassis

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Colin Edwards has admitted it is looking increasingly unlikely that he will get the opportunity to race a British-designed and built FTR frame in the 2014 MotoGP world championship.

A revised official entry list last week showed Edwards and teammate Aleix Espargaro entered on a Forward Yamaha in the new Open category.

All previous references to the pair on earlier provisional entry lists had both entered to ride the FTR-Yamaha in the Italian-based Forward squad.

Texan Edwards has now admitted to MCN that he is not anticipating testing or racing an FTR frame soon.

FTR had signed to supply the chassis for the Forward Racing Open class project, which is essentially a 2013 prototype Yamaha YZR-M1 but with more fuel, more engines and softer tyres.

But double World Superbike champion Edwards told MCN: “No comment is all I can say because I think there is some trouble in the water. It would have been great to have it and right now I’ve kind of forgotten about that because I can’t bank on it. That was obviously the whole project we were shooting for but I think there are some issues. I am kind of stuck in a rock and hard a place right now. All I can do is forget about that and focus on what we have got.”

The admission by Edwards that he is unlikely to test an FTR frame further muddies the water in the relationship between the British chassis specialist and Forward management.

FTR was insistent that it was working on a MotoGP frame, despite Forward Racing no longer running its Moto2 chassis, as previously agreed for Simone Corsi and Mattia Pasini.

Edwards was keen to assess an FTR frame having struggled to gel well with the new Forward Yamaha project in two tests at the Sepang track in Malaysia.

Edwards has struggled with turning performance on the Yamaha YZR-M1 chassis and swingarm and the 40-year-old has been completely overshadowed by teammate Aleix Espargaro.

Asked what he would do if the FTR frame was no longer an alternative option, he said: “I need to go and invest in a hacksaw (laughs). I can’t really do anything about that right now. Unless FTR come up with some miracle package we have got to run what we have.

I know what we had last year from FTR and I could get into the corner and get out. We have changed everything we can. I’ve probably tested five completely different set-ups at Sepang and I get the same lap time with all of them and when that happens there’s a telling story. And that’s I can’t get the bike to turn. I brake and go in and I’m looking at the corner and know where I want to go but she don’t want to come there with me.

Aleix is so hard on the brakes and aggressive going into the corner that he has figured out that you’ve got to keep as much weight on it as possible to get it to turn a little bit. Our styles are different and I haven’t adapted yet.”

Edwards is due to start his final preparations for 2014 in a three-day/night test at the Losail International Circuit in Doha, which kicks off later today.

Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt