The following is part one of a extensive teleconference with Tech 3 Yamaha's Colin Edwards, in which he looks ahead to next weekend's inaugural Red Bull Indianapolis Grand Prix, whilst also answering questions on Dani Pedrosa's shock tyre switch.

In part two, Edwards talks further about the much-anticipated Indianapolis event whilst also answering questions on former team-mate Valentino Rossi. The teleconference concludes with a question on whether Edwards, a double World Superbike champion, would consider returning to WSBK.

Moderator:
Welcome, everyone, to this Red Bull Indianapolis GP teleconference with our guest, American MotoGP star Colin Edwards. First, a little background about the race itself and Colin. The Red Bull Indianapolis GP is September 12th through 14th at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. It's the first time we've had a motorcycle race at the Speedway in -

Colin Edwards:
A long time.

Moderator:
Try 99 years. The very first motorcycle race at IMS was August 14th, 1909; it was the only bike race at IMS. That also was the first motorised race ever at the Speedway. So we're definitely going back to the future with this race.

Colin Edwards:
It's been a while, you're saying.

Moderator:
There will be four classes racing at the Speedway during the event: MotoGP, 250cc and 125cc. Those are all world championship categories. We also have the Red Bull Riders Cup and the Red Bull AMA Rookies Cup, which are some of the top teen-age riders in the world...

...One other thing I would like to talk about real quickly is the Red Bull Indianapolis GP review on Thursday at IMS, very similar to the pit walkabouts that we had during the Formula One race at Indy in which Sunday ticket holders can walk the pits Thursday afternoon.

We have a variety of events during the day, including interviews with riders and officials on stage and a concert to close the day by Colin's team-mate, James Toseland, with the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra. Yep, he is a MotoGP rider, but he's also a concert-trained pianist.

Now a little bit of background about our guest, Colin Edwards. Colin rides for the Tech 3 Yamaha Team. He is 34 years old. He's a native of Houston and lives in nearby Conroe, Texas. This is his sixth season in MotoGP. He is the top American in the season standings this year in MotoGP; he's seventh in the points. He is a two-time World Superbike Champion before he moved - then he moved up to MotoGP in 2003.

Colin, thanks for joining us today, really appreciate it.

Colin Edwards:
You got it, man. My pleasure.

Moderator:
Talk about your anticipation in racing in Indianapolis. You went there for the Allstate 400 at the Brickyard as a guest, just checking out the Speedway; it was your first time there. Now we're basically a week-and-a-half away. Talk about your anticipation of racing in a MotoGP event, probably closer to your home than ever before. I think Indy is closer than Laguna.

Colin Edwards:
Yeah, absolutely. What can I say, it's Indy. You know, I mean I went there, obviously, for the Brickyard and got to see a little bit of the mystique about the place. And very impressive, you know. Anyway, very impressive, the whole facility. I'm really excited to get some MotoGP bikes out there and get running around. See what it brings.

Moderator:
What does MotoGP bring that -- you know, Indy has been world renowned for auto racing with the Indy 500 and the Allstate 400 at the Brickyard, the USGP for Formula One. Obviously, these machines are very different, but what does it bring on track that is really going to blow people away when they see it?

Colin Edwards:
That's a difficult question, I think. You know, Moto Grand Prix anyway is, let's say home base is Europe. So more or less invented, kind of started there. To bring it to the U.S. anyway is different. It feels foreign. Even though we're coming home, it just feels like we're coming to somewhere that we normally don't go or shouldn't be. But the fact that it's my home country.

What's it going to bring? I don't know, it's just a different type of competition. You've got two wheels, we're doing, at Indy we'll probably get up around 200 coming down the front straight. It's just different, you know. You've got guys and motorcycles instead of guys sitting in a cockpit of a car. So it's totally different to see.

Moderator:
You mentioned that MotoGP originated in Europe, but if you look at the past history in the last 30 years, American riders have won numerous championships with it. We've had seven riders now, Americans, since 1978 win the MotoGP World Championship; names like Roberts, Spencer, Lawson, Hayden, Rainey, Schwantz. What does it mean to you as an American to continue that tradition of solid, strong performances in MotoGP?

Colin Edwards:
Well, there was a while there where it was nothing but Australians and Americans. And my dad being Australian, my mom being American, I thought I'm a shoo-in. To carry that on is, you know, even though it's not something we do at a real young age like they do over in Europe, the kids are on pocket bikes at a very early age, usually around here kids get started on a little mini-bike in the dirt and start playing around, and probably by the age of 12 to 15 or something, kind of decide to do something different.

So it always feels like the younger kids are a little bit behind here. They obviously haven't been on pocket bikes since they were 4 or 5 years old like they start over in Italy. But, you know, we're very adaptive. Here today our attitude is different, I think, than most of the world. We've got some pride in where we live and, you know, our flag behind us, and we're a pretty determined bunch of folks.

Moderator:
Definitely, definitely. Well, Melissa, let's open up the panel for questioning for Colin.

Q:
Of course, the item that's on everyone's minds is Pedrosa leaving Michelin after last weekend. I wonder if you can comment. Given that you probably got the best relationship with Michelin, I wonder what your viewpoint on that is.

Colin Edwards:
I don't know, I'm going to try to be real political and skirt around the edges here.

Q:
Is that possible for you?

Colin Edwards:
I don't know, I don't know. You know, I think at the end of the day, you know, grand prix kind of revolves, let's say, first around Valentino Rossi. Second would be Pedrosa, obviously, and Jorge [Lorenzo] in there, as well. You've got a big Spanish influence.

So I think, you know, looking at the results, especially the last four races where, you know, most of us guys on Michelins have scored not many points - I don't know, I think they had enough. I know exactly what happened. What I could say is just basically it was, you know, they pretty much threatened, I think, they get Bridgestones or we're going home, and Honda made it happen.

Q:
Wow.

Colin Edwards:
Yeah, it was a surprise. I don't know, I mean I think the pride, all you've got to do is look at what's been happening and maybe not a surprise. But, you know, for most of the media folk, it was a surprise.

Q:
Oh, OK. The media are generally clueless. Are the Michelins really that bad?

Colin Edwards:
Well, you know, I'm never going to say they're bad. I think at the moment we have some work to do, that's for sure. You know, the front, rear, whatever you want to say, we've got to get something that's consistent. That's I think where we're struggling a bit.

Q:
My primary question is obviously a Michelin-related one, but nothing to do with the politics. Obviously, Michelin and Indianapolis seem to have a bad thing going on when the two come together with the diamond cut that they have on the track with the Formula One race. Do you have any fears or any reservations or any thoughts toward that relationship between Michelin and Indianapolis on the bikes?

Colin Edwards:
Well, you know, I have to be honest with you. I walked around the track whenever I went there about a month ago. Yeah, OK, you know, there are some things that you've got to look at that I think at the end of the day as a rider you have to go in positive.

You can't go in there thinking about any of this stuff. You've got to go in there positive. It's a home grand prix, let's get a win. And you pick your tyres, whatever Michelin brings and then Friday, usually after Friday morning you know about where you stand. That's really all you can do. As a rider, you just have to go in positive.

Q:
All right. Obviously, it's a lot more difficult for the riders than it would be for anyone sitting in a Formula One car. But has anybody mentioned anything of this? Has any thought from Michelin towards you guys been suggested about anything that you should, you know, with compounds or whatever the case may be?

Colin Edwards:
I know they tested. I know Michelin and I think Bridgestone, as well, they went and tested a month ago, a couple months ago. The only thing you could possibly hope for is that they got some good information. I know we got a good test rider at Yamaha, so we're just hoping they got some good information, they're going to use it the right way that we can keep.

Q:
I wonder, could you talk a little bit about how you think the event will be from just an overall event standpoint? Will if be more similar to what we saw at the USGP with the Formula One cars or more similar to the Brickyard and the Indy 500? Do you think from a fan standpoint from a demographic standpoint, who's going to be watching you guys basically? What's your thoughts?

Colin Edwards:
Oh, that's a good question. Hell, I hope everybody comes to watch, to be honest with you. That's a tough one. I think it's easy in Europe to get the demographics, just because everybody grows up on scooters and everybody has two-wheel knowledge and wants to have their heroes from teenagers riding on scooters around town.

Demographics as far as the U.S. is concerned? Man, I don't know. I think anybody that's had a motorcycle or has wanted a motorcycle will probably come. Who that is? Man, you've got me. I can't tell you. I can't tell you that exactly.

Q:
OK. Well, maybe even more difficult question, but you walked the track; is that correct?

Colin Edwards:
Yeah, I went in Turn 1 and looked at the pavement, and then I more or less went around in a car after that.

Q:
What's your thoughts on the circuit? Is it going to be something where the riders are not used to this or is it similar, can you relate it to a track on the circuit previously?

Colin Edwards:
That's a good question. Just had that question yesterday. I don't really think, out of respect maybe, I don't think I can really compare it to anywhere. It's Indianapolis. I don't know if you can say Indy is just like so-and-so in some BFE location. It's Indianapolis. So I think what will probably happen is we'll run Indianapolis with an open mind, and then you'll probably compare other things to Indianapolis if it goes right. That's what we're looking at.

Q:
That makes sense. What about just from a straightaway standpoint, I know it's probably the longest on the circuit. Is it just - is it one of those things where you go into the weekend not knowing what to expect and you're kind of maybe on the defence more than the offense because it's just all new to everyone?

Colin Edwards:
Well, I think you've got to start out with an attack attitude basically because nobody has been there. So you've got to go and attack immediately and try and get your brake markers dialled in, get everything sorted out, quicker than the next guy. As soon as you get all that sorted, then you can really concentrate on the bike and bike setup. That takes you a couple seconds to get all your brake markers down and then get your bike set up. You've really got to attack from the beginning, especially a track that nobody's been to.

Q:
Thank you. Colin, because the race is going to be at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, probably the most recognised speedway in the world, is the hope of holding it there will raise the profile of the sport in this country?

Colin Edwards:
Absolutely. I think that is definitely an ultimate goal. You know, I think - you know, we've done Laguna, I guess, since '05, has that really raised the profile of grand prix in the U.S.? I don't know. I can't say yes or no. I think Indy is a sure-fire bet that getting up in that area instead of being so far away over on the West Coast, we've got a big crowd around there that can come check it out. Hoping that's the case, you know. We just want to get everybody coming out.

Q:
What are the other drivers', the foreign drivers' opinions about racing there? Obviously, they've all heard of Indy.

Colin Edwards:
Well, I know just about - I wouldn't say all of them, but they love America in the first place, you know. They all like coming here. They enjoy the food, enjoy the people, enjoy the weather. So I think it's going to be good, you know. I think they're excited. Everybody is ready to come and get it going, see what it's like.

Q:
Thank you. Colin, I guess this season may not have gone quite as well as you would have hoped going in. How much would it mean to you if you could come in and win this race? How much would that make, you know, this season all of a sudden a successful one for you?

Colin Edwards:
You said it right there. It would definitely, you know, after all the drama we've been through after the last four races, it would make it a successful season. That's the ultimate goal, go and win your home grand prix. At the same time, we've got a couple guys that are fighting hard, got really good packages; and to win a race, you've got to beat both of them at the moment. That's a tall order in itself. This is the U.S., this is the home race, and anything can happen.

Q:
Is it realistic that you could come here and make up the gap on those two guys, is here a realistic hope going into this thing if things go right you can win it?

Colin Edwards:
Of course, yeah. There's - if things go right, there's every bit a possibility of winning the race. We've got some work to do. Nobody knows it, man. I think that's maybe in our advantage, to be honest with you, nobody knowing the track, nobody having their setups down. I've generally been good showing up at a track and getting everything sorted out quickly, so that's what we're looking for.

Q:
That was actually my last question. You think the fact that it is new to everybody does indeed level the playing field?

Colin Edwards:
Absolutely. Whenever we go to an Italian race, all the Italians go good, they've grown up on that track. When we go here, the Americans go good, same with Australia. Come here and level the playing field a bit and see what happens. Should be good.

Q:
Colin, my question is going to be about the comments you made at the end of the last race, saying that your problem was in the first three laps that you had which essentially put you back to the point where you couldn't get back in the top 10 to compete where you wanted to. Obviously, Yamaha hasn't tested at Misano like Honda and Kawasaki tested on Monday. Has anything been done or had you guys made any plans toward correcting this so you won't have the same issue riding again in the first three laps at Indianapolis?

Colin Edwards:
Yeah, we've got a pretty, one of many long meetings I've had with Michelin at the end of the weekend. I think we've got an idea. They've got an idea of something we can do to prevent the - you know, basically it's just we had to run such a hard tyre that it was like ice the first few laps. But I think they have a scenario, let's say, to fix that.