Yamaha delighted with Colin Edwards testing deal
Yamaha boss Lin Jarvis reckons Colin Edwards was the outstanding candidate to play a key role in adapting the YZR-M1 to Michelin tyres for 2016.
Having prematurely split from the Forward Racing squad just eight races before he was due to retire, the 40-year-old has clinched a testing deal with Yamaha for the remainder of this year and the whole of 2015.
Yamaha and Michelin will call on the double World Superbike champion’s wealth of experience to prepare for 2016 when the French brands becomes the exclusive tyre supplier in MotoGP as replacement for Bridgestone.
Edwards kicked off an intensive testing schedule with Yamaha and Michelin at the Twin Ring Motegi track in Japan this week.
And Yamaha boss Lin Jarvis told MCN: “Colin’s contract will run from the beginning of this month until the end of 2015. He should do six days this year and 12 days next year.
"The next 18 months are extremely important for Michelin to understand and develop a tyre that we will finally be using in 2016 and beyond.
"It is also very important for us to understand what level of technology they are at. They are changing to 17-inch rims, the tyres will be narrower and they will have different characteristics.
"Yamaha and Honda have more or less the same speed on the track but the characteristics are very different. We really need to be able to develop our bike for that new need.”
Jarvis confirmed that Yamaha had approached Edwards when it became clear he was to be dropped by the Forward Racing squad after an emotional farewell to US fans in Indianapolis last month.
Jarvis added: “There is a lot of testing to be done and we need a quick rider that knows MotoGP and a rider that has experience of the M1 is also useful. Colin has a long history with us but also Michelin, so it was a logical thing to do.
"I think it was an ideal thing because it gives us the access to Colin for this and next year and it was good for him because he can seamlessly maintain his relationship with Yamaha and an engagement with the sport.”