Following two successful seasons together, Herve Poncharal rates Colin Edwards
so highly that he wants the Texan to remain part of the Tech 3 team after
he finishes his MotoGP racing career.
Edwards left the factory Yamaha team to make way for Jorge Lorenzo
at the end of 2007, and was relocated inside Poncharal's satellite squad for what was labelled as one final year in grand prix racing.
But the former double World Superbike champion was rejuvenated by the move out of Valentino Rossi's shadow, while the family-like atmosphere at the Tech 3 team seemed to suit his personality perfectly.
Edwards finished 2008, his sixth year in grand prix racing, with one pole, two podiums and as the second-best satellite rider, with seventh in the overall standings.
A Michelin rider for much of his career, Edwards then proved that age is no barrier to versatility by adapting seamlessly to Bridgestone tyres for 2009 - a year he finished with a career-best equalling second position in the British Grand Prix and as the top satellite rider with fifth in the overall rankings.
Although he made less podium appearances, and took no poles, the strength of the 35-year-old's season is illustrated by a final points total of 161 (over 17 rounds) compared with 144 (over 18 rounds) in 2008. Edwards failed to score points just once, when he was taken out on lap one at Misano.
In terms of points-per-race, 2009 was Edwards' strongest season since 2005, when he finished a best-yet fourth in the championship for the factory Yamaha team. Edwards, now contracted directly to Tech 3, will ride alongside countryman Ben Spies for 2010.
“I am more than happy to have one more year with Colin and definitely he is now part of the family at Tech 3. Hopefully forever,” said Poncharal, speaking exclusively to Crash.net
The Frenchman went on to explain that, just as Yamaha wants to retain Rossi as long as possible - then continue its association with the Italian after he has finished racing - Tech 3 wants a similar partnership with Edwards.