“Yamaha has said they would like to keep Valentino until the end of his career and then keep him as an ambassador. Okay, Tech 3 is a very tiny company compared with Yamaha, but we would like Colin to remain forever part of the Tech 3 family in the same way,” he said.
In terms of what that might mean, Poncharal hinted that he would like Edwards to become a test and development rider for Tech 3.
That would be a valuable service, since Tech 3 will enter the new Moto2 class as both a team and constructor from 2010, while future MotoGP technical rules are expected to hand a similar amount of engineering freedom to independent teams in the premier-class.
Rather than satellite teams leasing a complete motorcycle from a factory as at present, it is believed that the new MotoGP regulations will try to promote the popular Moto2 format of independent chassis designs powered by an affordable factory-built engine. Moto2 will have a control engine, but MotoGP will continue to have open engine competition.
“When you think about the future, there will be some development opportunities for us in the MotoGP class as well as Moto2,” confirmed Poncharal. “So why not think about Colin helping us? It is a bit too early to talk about that, but why not? He still has a lot of enthusiasm and we have a lot of respect for him.
“Anything could be possible. And Colin has got a son now, so...[laughs]. Maybe I'll be retired by the time the next generation of Edwards is ready to ride for Tech 3, but why not! You never know!”
One area in which Edwards' development skills could be of benefit to Tech 3 during the MotoGP test ban, is with the new Moto2 project.
Tech 3 has previously told Crash.net
that it is unlikely that Edwards, Spies or any other Yamaha MotoGP rider will try their Moto2 bike this winter. Nevertheless, Poncharal admitted it is a tempting idea and that Edwards has already shown an interest.
“Colin has helped a little bit with the Moto2,” he said. “At Valencia we brought the bike, which was not completely ready, but we showed it in the hospitality without the fairing. Colin sat on it and gave Guy [Coulon, his crew chief and head of Tech 3's Moto2 project] a lot of information, like changing the shape of the tank etc.
“There would be some riders I would never ask [to try the Moto2], but Colin loves motorcycles, loves racing and loves the technical side. He loves to give his opinion and comments. I'm sure if I asked him he would do it.