11 August 2014
MotoGP Indianapolis: Colin Edwards bids emotional farewell to US fans
"I'm just like you folks, except I ride my motorcycle a little faster" - Colin Edwards.
Home star Colin Edwards finished his final American MotoGP round in 13th place at Indianapolis on Sunday.
The double World Superbike champion and twelve-time MotoGP podium finisher is retiring at the end of this year - but at Indianapolis it became clear that the 40-year-old will appear only once or twice in the remaining rounds.
“Yeah, I'm a little emotional,” said Edwards. “I'll probably figure it all out a little later, but the crowd here was great. There has been great fan support all week with this being my last race on US soil. I'm just happy to be well and in one piece. Let's move on to Part 2 of my life.
“One of the military troops got in touch with me and told me he had an American flag in Turn 8, so I stopped and got it [at the end of the race],” added Edwards, who also rode in a special camouflage livery.
On Saturday night in the Moto Midway, a parade of motorcycle stars took the stage to laud Edwards life on and off track.
The line-up of well-wishers included defending MotoGP champion Marc Marquez and his Repsol Honda team-mate Dani Pedrosa, former world champions Nicky Hayden, Valentino Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo, plus Randy Mamola, Stefan Bradl and Aleix Espargaro, Edwards's Forward Racing team-mate.
The conversations were dominated by references to his off-track demeanour.
“He's a friend,” Mamola said. “Approachable and loyal.”
“MotoGP won't be the same without him,” fellow American Hayden told the crowd.
“He's one of the funniest riders in MotoGP,” Marquez said, adding that, “he taught me all those 'naughty' words in English.”
Edwards, who took turns onstage directing a spirited T-shirt barrage to hundreds of enthusiastic fans and admirers, finally got his chance to respond.
“I can't thank you all enough,” Edwards said to the fans. “Hey, I'm just like you folks, except I ride my motorcycle a little faster than you do. Seriously, without you all, we don't exist. It just wouldn't be possible without all of you.”
When the microphone was turned off, Edwards had a chance to reflect on it all.
“Yeah, this was really great, he said. “And it got to me, it choked me up a little.”
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