Factory Castrol Honda World Superbike rider and defending WSBK Champion Colin Edwards has escaped possible sanctions by motorcycles governing body, the FIM, after he was misquoted in a South African newspaper in an interview that claimed he disliked the predominantly black townships in South Africa.

If Colin Edwards looked a little more tense than usual this weekend at Kyalami for the second round of the 2001 World Superbike Championship it may have been down to an interview he conducted for the South African newspaper 'Saturday Star' in which he was quoted as saying he would consider living in South Africa but only if "a few townships were nuked first."

The journalist with which Edwards conducted the interview chose to comment that the Texan rider made the statement because "he was under the impression.... that all white South African's shared his views," a claim Edwards was at pains to deny.

The interview caused a major stir in and around South Africa when it appeared on Saturday morning but after a lengthy meeting with FIM president Francesco Zerbi, Superbike president Paolo Flammini, AA Racing (who own the 2.649-mile Kyalami track) executive director Selwyn Nathan and Castrol Honda team-manager Neil Tuxworth, a joint statement issued by the FIM, Superbike International and AA Racing stated:

"We are satisfied with the explanation given to us by Edwards [that he was misquoted and that he has no ill-feeling toward the black population of South Africa.] We are satisfied that racism is not an issue in motor racing in South Africa and worldwide. As far as we are concerned the matter is now closed and we are looking forward to a successful event at AA Kyalami."

For a short while it seemed as though the interview would threaten to overshadow the on-track activities as being World Champion, Edwards is essentially the spokesman of World Superbike racing although the Texan did not appear to be adversely affected by this negative publicity and went on to win the first race on Sunday. However the outspoken rider will undoubtedly be slightly more circumspect when discussing delicate matters in countries where the political situation isn't as stable as some of the other places the WSBK Championship visits during the course of the year.