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Colin Edwards profile

By Dan Moakes
March 5 2006

Colin Edwards
nationality · American
born · 27 February 1974
world superbike début · 1995
grand prix début · 2003

Known as the “Texan Tornado”, Colin Edwards has been perhaps the best Superbike racer in the post-Carl Fogarty era, with 31 race wins and two championship titles. Lately, his motivation has been to prove his ability in the premier road racing series, namely the new four-stroke MotoGP arena. His route has taken him via three manufacturers so far. The Aprilia ‘Cube’ was a handful, but few doubted Colin’s determination as he piloted the 220bhp machine to its best race finish. A year with Honda brought him back towards the front on occasions, and his Yamaha return has provided his best GP performances yet. Now all he has to do is defeat team-mate Valentino Rossi.

Having competed in motocross, moved into national amateur road racing in a variety of categories, scoring multiple race wins; finished 2nd in Miami on his 250cc professional début

AMA 250cc Champion, with five wins from nine races
Racing a Yamaha TZ250 for SouthWest Motorsports, he defeated Kenny Roberts Jr, among others

6th in AMA Superbike championship, with a Vance & Hines Yamaha

4th in AMA Superbike championship, with a Vance & Hines Yamaha; three wins

Colin Edwards 1995 - photo by Elliot L Doering
photo by Elliot L Doering ·

1995 Yamaha World Superbike Team, number 45 Yamaha
Colin’s first World Superbike season was not an easy one, especially as team-mate Yasutomo Nagai was killed in an accident at Assen. As a result, the team withdrew from the last two rounds, leaving Edwards eleventh overall, with 141 points. His results included seven in the top six, with a third place at Monza and a second at Brands Hatch
Also finished fourth in the Daytona 200; finished fifth in the Suzuka 8 Hours, with Nagai

1996 Yamaha WSBK Team, number 45 Yamaha
Progress was made in 1996, and Edwards recorded two pole positions, as well an impressive sixteen top six finishes. Of these, seven were on the podium, with the Texan runner-up once each in Spain and Australia. A total of 248 points was enough for fifth overall
Also finished third in the Daytona 200; won the Suzuka 8 Hours, with Noriyuki Haga

1997 Yamaha World Superbike Team, number 45 Yamaha
Edwards’ third year for Yamaha was a missed opportunity. With 79 points on the board after eight races, and holding down position five, Colin was the innocent victim in a crash that kept him out for the rest of the year. Despite his seven top eight results, including a second at Phillip Island, he was down to twelfth in the final reckonings
Also finished third in the Daytona 200

1998 Castrol Honda, number 45 Honda
After a 500cc Grand Prix deal with Yamaha fell through, Edwards was lucky enough to fill the gap left by John Kocinski in the Castrol Honda WSB team. The RC45 proved a race winning proposition, with the Texan taking a double in Italy and adding a third victory at Brands Hatch. Another ten visits to the top six helped him onto 279½ points, which equated to fifth overall
Also finished third in the Suzuka 8 Hours, with Tadayuki Okada; finished fourth in the Japanese Superbike race at Sugo

1999 Castrol Honda, number 5 Honda
1999 provided the big breakthrough year for Colin, who now became a regular rostrum visitor. The new Honda SP-1 twin replaced the RC45, and he had a total of twenty top six finshes. Wins came at Donington, Albacete, Brands Hatch (twice) and the A1-Ring, and he also recorded two more pole positions. Carl Fogarty had taken his fourth title, but Edwards was in second place, equal on 361 points with Troy Corser
Also finished second in the Suzuka 8 Hours, with Aaron Slight

2000 Castrol Honda, number 2 Honda
With Fogarty taken out of the equation by injury, 2000 proved a race between Colin and Yamaha’s Noriyuki Haga. The Honda man achieved six pole positions, six fastest laps, eight wins and a further ten top six finishes. In the end it was not in doubt, 400 points taking Edwards 65 clear of his rival
Also qualified sixth for the Suzuka 8 Hours, with Valentino Rossi

2001 Castrol Honda, number 1 Honda
For his title defence, Ducati’s Troy Bayliss was Colin’s new sparring partner. Although Edwards had four fastest laps and four wins, his total of 333 points, including another fifteen results in the top six, was not enough. Bayliss was victorious by 36, but still the SP-2 had proved itself with second overall for the Texan
Also won the Suzuka 8 Hours, with Valentino Rossi and Manabu Kamada

2002 Castrol Honda, number 2 Honda
Colin’s fifth year with Honda, now a one-man team, was his best yet. Although Bayliss won fourteen of the first seventeen races, Edwards kept the pressure on with two wins, ten seconds, four thirds and a fourth. The second race at Laguna Seca was the turning point, as his third win was the first of nine consecutive visits to the top step. With Bayliss slipping up at Assen, this was enough to sneak away with a second title
Also won the Suzuka 8 Hours, with Daijiro Kato

2003 Alice Aprilia Racing, number 45 Aprilia
With Honda pulling out of World Superbikes, and failing to find Edwards a position in Grands Prix, the American eventually opted for Aprilia’s four-stroke GP machine over the works WSB Ducati. His one provisio was the adoption of his favoured Michelin tyres. The powerful but tricky ‘Cube’ had managed a best result of eighth in 2002, but Edwards was to improve on this with a sixth place, as well as a couple of second row qualifications

2004 Telefónica MoviStar Honda MotoGP, number 45 Honda
Colin maintained his consistent finishing record, but a switch to Honda gave him the chance to move forward and take on the leaders. Sure enough, he was a regular in the top seven, with podium results twice for the Texan. On the whole, he was overshadowed by team-mate Sete Gibernau, but with the exception being at Donington, where he pushed the Spaniard back to third. 157 points made for fifth overall

2005 Gauloises Yamaha Team, number 5 Yamaha
For 2005, Edwards joined Valentino Rossi to race for the marque he had earlier spent six years with as he became established. Again he was not usually on a par with his pace-setting team leader, but he still scored every time out, and showed good form on several occasions. The best of these saw him defeat Rossi at Laguna Seca, and finish second to compatriot Nicky Hayden. 179 points were good enough for fourth in the final table, after dropping out of a close battle for second

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