Colin Edwards set to begin Yamaha testing role

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Colin Edwards won’t have long to get used to life as a retired racer, with the American poised to kick off his new role as Yamaha’s official MotoGP test rider in a few days.

The Texan had planned to retire at the end of 2014, but his final season was ended prematurely after the recent Indianapolis round when his Forward Racing Yamaha seat went to Alex de Angelis for the remainder of the campaign.

The 40-year-old will now become test rider for Yamaha, with a specific role of developing the YZR-M1 around new Michelin tyres, which will be raced in MotoGP in 2016.

The experienced double World Superbike champion will also play a pivotal role in development of Michelin’s new spec tyres, though he will be contracted to Yamaha.

Edwards has been linked with a prominent role in Michelin’s testing schedule for months, having previously been a key development rider for the French brand in both World Superbikes and MotoGP.

Edwards confirmed to MCN that his first appearance on a Michelin-shod YZR-M1 is expected to take place at the Twin Ring Motegi in Japan in mid-September and he said: “I’m working on developing the bike to the Michelins as well as the tyre testing.  I haven’t signed it but it’s heading that way. I’m cool with it and 100% happy the way things are going. I’ve done a lot of work with Michelin in the past, especially at Clermont Ferrand where they could build stuff overnight and test it the next day. But the Yamaha plan will be testing at real race tracks but not while the main guys are there.”

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Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt