Colin Edwards has agreed a new contract to stay with Monster Yamaha Tech 3 for a fourth season, in 2011.

The Texan will ride alongside Cal Crutchlow, who is moving from Yamaha's World Superbike team to take the place of Ben Spies at Yamaha's satellite team.

Edwards has been a Yamaha rider since 2005 and at Tech 3 since 2008. The former double World Superbike's champion's contract extension means he will have raced for Tech 3 more than any other team in grand prix.

Edwards was the top satellite rider in last year's world championship, finishing fifth overall, but 2010 has been far tougher and he is only 11th in the rankings with a best result of seventh position at Laguna Seca, Brno and Misano.

Spies, the top satellite rider, is sixth (with two podiums and a pole).

Edwards had been unhappy with the competitiveness of the Tech 3 equipment, which received an upgrade from Yamaha at Laguna Seca, and was initially making strong hints about a return to WSBK next year.

But with Ducati (with who Edwards had been linked) pulling its factory team from the production championship and Valentino Rossi heading for Ducati, Edwards and Yamaha both had motives to continue their relationship.

For Edwards, Tech 3 is a team he fits into perfectly and can offer him a regular top-six bike, while Yamaha are sure to value Colin's experience and development skills as they seek to fill the void left by the departure of Rossi (and probably most of the Italian's side of the Fiat Yamaha team).

"I am delighted to have signed a new one-year contract with the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team," said Edwards.

"I want to say a big thanks to Yamaha and to Tech 3 for their unwavering support. I am honoured to continue my long and successful relationship with Yamaha, Herve Poncharal and all at Tech3.

"I love the team and feel like part of a big family and I'm thrilled that our adventure together is continuing next year.

"I'm excited at the challenge of competing in the MotoGP world championship again and still being competitive in probably the strongest field in history is an achievement I'm proud of.

"I am also looking forward to working with and helping out Cal Crutchlow next season.

"I'd like to think I helped James Toseland and Ben Spies adapt when they arrived in MotoGP, and I will be doing my utmost to do the same for Cal if he needs any advice. I think all of us can look forward to an exciting 2011 together."

"I am thrilled to have reached a new agreement with Colin for the 2011 MotoGP world championship. His appetite and passion for racing is stronger than ever and he has been an incredible asset for the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team," added Poncharal.

"He is a great character but he has consistently proven that he remains one of the fastest riders in the world and I am glad that the Tech 3 story with Colin will go on for one more year.

"I believe with Colin's experience and boundless enthusiasm and Cal's hunger and desire to succeed in MotoGP that the Monster Yamaha Tech3 Team can already look forward to 2011 with tremendous optimism."

Edwards made his MotoGP debut with Aprilia in 2003, before switching to Honda Gresini in 2004, with whom he took his first two MotoGP podiums.

Three seasons alongside Rossi at the factory Yamaha team followed, during which time Edwards took six further podiums and a best of fourth in the world championship (2005).

Edwards was moved to Tech 3 to make way for Jorge Lorenzo and he has taken three podiums and a pole for the Herve Poncharal's French-based team.

The closest Edwards has come to a MotoGP victory was at Assen 2006, when he fell within sight of the flag after a last turn shown with Nicky Hayden.

Title leader Lorenzo is now the only Yamaha MotoGP rider still to sign.

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