Colin Edwards, a MotoGP stalwart since 2003, has announced he will retire from the top class at the conclusion of the 2014 season during the pre-event press conference at this weekend’s Austin race.
The American made the statement at the end of the press conference which also included compatriot Nicky Hayden and defending World Champion Marc Marquez.
“In testing this year I could see that I need to change my riding style and it is against my instinct to ride differently so that has had an affect.” said Edwards.
“I want to spend more time with my wife and my children and of course I want to say thanks to Yamaha and everyone who has helped me in my career.”
The American was also twice a World Superbike Champion (2000 & 2002) and achieved a career-best finish of 4th in the MotoGP championship in 2005. Along the way he collected 12 podium finishes, but never quite bagged that elusive victory.
“Colin started riding at the top when I was just two years old. I hope I can ride for as long as he has and I think he can be really proud of his career.” smiled Marquez.
“I was very happy with Qatar but here last year was one of my most difficult races. We need to ride at the maximum. The track is long and very difficult.” he said, turning to the race this weekend.
“My fibula is a little bit better, not perfect but it has improved. I rode in Qatar with painkillers and I will try to ride without them here.”
Marquez won his maiden MotoGP race at Austin twelve months ago, beating team-mate Dani Pedrosa into 2nd and starting out on the path that led him to the world title at the close of 2013.
Inevitably, talk soon returned to the retiring Edwards and his quip that he was ‘still racing this year though!’ after the glowing tributes from his rivals.
The final word went to Nicky Hayden, the 2006 World Champion;
“I always look at Colin and admire the energy he has with so many miles and so many years behind him. It’s a shame to be losing a fellow American from the sport. I hope he takes it easy for the rest of the year and takes it easy on the rest of us!”
MotoGP FP1 for the Austin race begins at 15:55 UK time, 09:55 Austin time.