Colin Edwards, a Houston native nicknamed “The Texas Tornado,” will offer candid insight about his performance, competitors and life in the exciting world of MotoGP motorcycle racing before every event in 2010 in “Tornado Warning.” It’s the third consecutive season in which Edwards will offer this exclusive insight for www.indianapolismotorspeedway.com.
Two-time World Superbike champion Edwards, 36, is in his eighth year of MotoGP competition, riding this season for Monster Yamaha Tech 3. Edwards and the rest of the MotoGP riders will continue the season Sunday, July 25 at the Red Bull U.S. Grand Prix at Laguna Seca (5 p.m. ET, July 25, SPEED).
The colorful Edwards will compete in the third annual Red Bull Indianapolis GP on Aug. 27-29 at IMS along with fellow American MotoGP stars Nicky Hayden and Ben Spies, and MotoGP superstars Valentino Rossi, Casey Stoner, Dani Pedrosa and Jorge Lorenzo.
Settings-wise, how much did you change at the Sachsenring? I read in the team release that you changed quite a bit after Friday.
Dude, I’ll tell you how retarded this weekend was. We started with a setting, went out first session, I think we were fourth or fifth. It looked pretty good. We were going pretty well. So after that, I thought we needed more front end. Needs to turn more. Just needs to turn more. So we go out and change it Saturday. Sunday morning comes, and we try something different. We put all the weight on the front; we put all the weight on the back. Dude, honestly, we did so much bullsh*t this weekend just trying to get it to work. Come race time, we looked at the lap times that everybody had kind of set down, and nothing was easy. Anyways, it didn’t really matter. Every second we put on the bike was a second off the pace. So we sat down after warmup, and I said, “Why don’t we put it back to what we came with?” So whatever I had done warmup on, what I had done qualifying on, what I had done … throw it out the window and just go with the setting we started with. It doesn’t matter. It does not matter what we … I followed Ben whenever he came by me, and his bike looks like a bigger piece of sh*t than mine, to be honest with you. It does not turn whatsoever. He’s running so far wide, trying to get the thing to hook back in.
Is that what happened with your crash? Were you running it in so deep to try and pick up time in the corners that it wouldn’t turn?
My crash was basically … I was fighting for 15th, man. I don’t race motorcycles to fight for 15th. I’m sorry, I’m out, I’m finished. Give me a plane home. That is not what I do; that’s not what I’ve ever done. The last few years, I’ve hated fighting for fourth or fifth, but it’s just the way it’s gone about. But the reality of it is, whenever I crashed, hell, I was just pushing. When you lose five, six, seven bike lengths off the corner, you’ve got to make it up somewhere. So I was just trying. I just outbraked myself. I ran a little bit wide. I was just probably a yard off line. But I was just being stubborn because I couldn’t afford to run wide. I was already in 15th or some bullsh*t. So I couldn’t afford to run wide and lose a little bit of the draft down the straight. So I thought: “I know it’s coming back. I know it’s coming back.” And then, boom. So.
The announcers on the telecast from the Sachsenring kept talking about updates for the Tech 3 bikes for Laguna. What updates are planned for you and Ben there?
That’s funny, dude. I don’t know. It’s a little wishy-washy story at the moment, but from what I’ve heard , we’re getting an update for Laguna. That is the story I heard: We made an ask, a request to the king, let’s say, the boss in Japan. We’ve got Monster, we got Motul, who else do we got? We got American sponsors. De Walt. We need to come up with something that we can show these guys why they’ve got their name on our team. Can we please have something? Well, at the end of the day, he’s pretty much saying: “Maybe something. We could do something.” But the story I heard is that I had the engine in at Sachsenring, which I couldn’t feel a difference. That’s just the story I heard. So I’m hoping I’m wrong. I’m hoping that’s not accurate. But we’ll see.
With all that’s happening now on the team, is racing at Laguna any kind of advantage? Does home cooking help when you’re struggling like this?
Dude, we’re so far off the pace right now, it’s just disgusting. I’m qualifying faster than I did last year with exactly the same bike and slower engines. It’s the same tires. Everything is the same except the engine is slower. I’m qualifying faster, I’m riding better than I’ve ever ridden. Ben is riding the damn wheels off the thing, as well. And we just have two, three, four more Hondas up there, a couple of more Ducatis. Instead of finishing fourth or five, we’re finishing eighth, 12th or whatever it is. And Laguna, I would like to say, yeah, we’re going to have an advantage. But the reality of Laguna is they totally f*cked it up for us because they changed the track. They took all the technical difficulty out of it. They scraped off a bunch of the bumps and resurfaced it and pulled Turn 1 down. And after the Corkscrew, they fixed all that to where we don’t have to … I don’t know. It’s more European now.
How do you keep your head up?
I don’t know, man. I’ve been trying. I’m trying real hard. At the moment, my motivation factor is running slim. I don’t want to end my career being pissed off all the time. I don’t know. I’m searching for something. Generally, the last couple of years I’ve said, “Just be happy with yourself, be happy that you rode the wheels off of it.” Usually my result was around fifth, sixth, whatever it might have been, fourth, whatever. An occasional podium here and there. But all I could really do was be happy with myself and the way I rode. I’m riding my ass off. Whatever Honda and Ducati and all these guys are coming up with and giving everybody everything, we’re just stuck in the wind.
Were you surprised at all with how well Valentino rode last weekend at the Sachsenring in his first race back after suffering a broken leg?
Oh, no. No, not Valentino. Hell, when he tested that R1 a couple of days before that, he was hauling ass. That doesn’t surprise me. That’s Valentino. I’ve never bet against him. Never have. Never will.