After suffering through a season with a diabolical BMW engine package, American Colin Edwards II reportedly is pulling his strings at Yamaha to try and secure an engine and electronics package from the Crossed Tuning Forks for his Claiming Rules Team bike in 2014.
Edwards endured the worst season of his 10-year MotoGP career in 2012, finishing tied for 18th in the standings in his first season on production-based CRT machinery with Forward Racing. Edwards repeatedly complimented his team but criticized the balky Suter-BMW chassis-engine package with equal measure, saving the sharpest corners of his potent Texas tongue for the bike's electronics.
Some relief will come in 2013 when Forward switches to an FTR-Kawasaki package. But British media reported CE II wants to take that potential improvement a step further by talking with senior Yamaha management about leasing a YZR-M1 engine and electronics package from Yamaha for 2014.
Edwards rode for the Yamaha factory team from 2005-07 and for the Tech 3 Yamaha satellite team from 2008-11.
Yamaha has indicated it will lease as many as four packages in 2014, allowing teams to place the engine and black box in its chassis of choice. Honda is taking a different approach, selling customer versions of its complete RC213V bike.
The news of Edwards' negotiations is good news on two fronts. One, Edwards will be infinitely more competitive with an M1 engine and black box bolted into an FTR frame. Two, CE II already is talking about 2014, which means the popular Edwards, who turns 39 next February, plans to stay in the premier class into his 40s.