Two-time World Superbike champion, multi-time Suzuka 8 Hours winner and former AMA 250 GP champion Colin Edwards II announced his retirement from racing today in the pre-event press conference at the Austin MotoGP race. Edwards will finish up his racing career in 2014 and will retire with the final race.
Edwards has had a storied career in racing. A Yamaha support motocrosser as a teen, Edwards tried roadracing on basically a whim in his late teens. He showed incredible speed and racecraft for a rookie and his ascent through the amateur ranks was a quick one. He'd already won the AMA 250 GP championship by 1992 and in 1993 he was on a Vance and Hines Yamaha and won his first Superbike race at Mid Ohio in 1994.
Edwards left America for Europe in 1995, racing on the Yamaha WSBK team. Injuries and teething issues made his initial term in Europe a difficult one. His career was turned around after signing with the Castrol Honda team. He won the WSBK title for Honda in 2000 and then again in 2002.
|Edwards will finish up his racing career in 2014 and will retire with the final race.|
Edwards' Suzuka 8 Hour wins came in 1996 with Nori Haga on a Yamaha, in 2001 with Valentino Rossi and in 2002 with the late Daijiro Kato.
Edwards rode for a variety of teams and on different machinery in MotoGP, from the infamous Aprilia Cube to the Gresini Honda RC211V to the M1 Yamaha. He scored poles, podiums and was a keen development rider for Yamaha, the manufacturer he has the closest relationship with, although most of his international success came while aboard a Honda.
Edwards married his high school girlfriend, Alyssia, and the pair have three children. Edwards started his Texas Tornado Boot Camp in 2011. Edwards retires from racing at 40 with a long list of accomplishments both on the track and off. A wise investor, Edwards has substantial real estate holdings; its doubtful he will ever have to "get a real job".
It's somewhat difficult to put a finger on Edwards' greatest accomplishment in racing, but his 2002 season was one for the ages. Seemingly a long-shot for the WSBK title, Edwards began a race win terror at Laguna Seca, one which culminated with Edwards beating Troy Bayliss for the WSBK title at the final round of the championship at Imola.
Edwards said a variety of factors went into his decsion to call it a career with the final race of 2014. He cited that because some of the techniques he was using on the Forward M1 were not working and that his children's activities were becoming more vast he "needed to be home more".