The chances of Colin Edwards partnering Neil Hodgson in a second Ducati MotoGP team appear to be more than little off the mark, with the two WSBK champions likely to be riding for opposing manufacturers next season.

The 'superteam' rumour, touted in the Rio paddock by those who point out that the American signed a letter of intent to ride for Ducati in WSBK this year - before deciding his future lay in MotoGP - can be crossed off the list according to sources at Ducati.

"Colin Edwards has never been one of the candidates under consideration by Ducati for a MotoGP ride next season," Ducati spokesperson Sonia Braggio told, "From what we understand, he will remain with a rival manufacturer for 2004."

Edwards has said publicly that he will be saying with Aprilia next year, but the rumour mill insists that he hasn't yet actually signed to do so.

The 'Texan Tornado' has also been linked with a move back to Honda but, realistically, that's unlikely, leaving Ducati as the only other manufacturer that he could hope to win races with next year. With hindsight, Edwards is probably wishing that he hadn't turned down Honda's pre-season offer of a 2002 customer-spec bike fitted with Bridgestone tyres - the American wanted to run with Michelins - this year. That ride then went to Makoto Tamada, who finished on the podium at Rio.

Edwards' best result this year is a sixth place from the season-opening GP at Suzuka. However, he has comfortably out-performed Noriyuki Haga - who, it is rumoured, may be dropped by Aprilia for next year - but the three-cylinder RS Cube has been suffering chatter problems for the last few races, which the team is still struggling to solve.



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