Colin Edwards’ long association with Yamaha will terminate with the 2012 season, as the Texan’s Forward Racing CRT ride will be a Suter/BMW project.
Colin Edwards confirmed at Sepang that he will ride a Suter/BMW machine in the new 1000cc MotoGP world championship in 2012. The Texan planned make his debut on the bike, which features a highly-tuned BMW S1000RR engine in a Swiss-built Suter frame, immediately after the final round of the season in Valencia next month (Edwards would later dislocate his left shoulder in the fatal crash that killed Marco Simoncelli during the Malaysian Grand Prix).
It is not the bike the 37-year-old planned to ride in MotoGP next season having left the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 squad to join the Italian-based Forward Racing project. When the Texan announced he was moving to Forward Racing during the Misano weekend last month, he told the media he wanted to use a Yamaha R1 engine in a chassis built by his current Tech 3 crew chief Guy Coulon.
That idea collapsed when Tech 3 announced it couldn’t build a frame in time for testing to commence at the end of January. Edwards was then linked to a Yamaha R1 deal using a Moriwaki chassis but then Yamaha also ruled out supplying his team with engines.
Speaking in Sepang ahead of the weekend’s Malaysian Grand Prix, the double World Superbike champion said: “At the beginning I just said we’d run a Yamaha engine and a Tech 3 chassis because that was my way of putting some pressure on some guys and they obviously didn’t give a shit what I thought because they said no. I got a couple of guys against me on the European side at Yamaha, but at the end of the day it will be BMW/Suter. I’m happy to be working with those guys although it is not going to be easy. We’ll probably be looking for seconds to begin with and then we’ll cut down to half-seconds and then we’ll be looking for tenths. But we probably won’t be competitive at the first race and probably not at the last race, but we will work our ass off to build it.”
The Aspar 2012 MotoGP effort will likely be a CRT one, with rider Hector Barbera linked to Pramac Racing next season.
Aspar Resigned to Losing Hector Barbera
Spanish rider Hector Barbera seems a certainty to move to the Pramac Ducati squad in 2012 after his current Aspar squad confirmed it will split with Ducati at the end of the season. The Aspar team, owned by former 125GP world champion Jorge Martinez, had initially planned to expand to a two-rider Ducati effort for 2012. But a shortfall in its budget meant it had to revise those plans during the Motorland Aragon weekend last month and instead it began negotiations to keep Barbera in a one-rider team for a third successive season.
But those talks with Ducati management collapsed during the Japanese Grand Prix earlier this month and the Aspar squad will now run its own 1000cc project. It is most likely to lease RSV4 engines off Aprilia but Sporting Director Gino Borsoi has also been in contact about the Suter/BMW project, which uses a highly-tuned S1000RR motor.
What is certain is that Aspar’s sudden and shock change in circumstances means Barbera will leave. He is reluctant to ride a CRT machine and wants to maintain his relationship with Ducati and he is closing on a deal to ride the one GP12 machine that Pramac will run next season.
Borsoi said: “I understand his situation because he wants to keep the best solution for himself and right now that is probably staying with Ducati. He has a good chance with them still. We have offered him the possibility to stay with us but the problem is we don’t understand at this moment what is the best bike. I hope in Malaysia we have a decision about the bike and then we can make a decision about the rider because right now it is difficult to talk to a rider and offer them something.”