Texas bike icon Colin Edwards will begin his farewell tour as a professional racer at his home race at COTA in Austin on Sunday.
Edwards, 40, has confirmed that 2014 will be his final season in MotoGP and that he intends to spend more with his wife and children at his ranch near Houston.
Edwards won two World Superbike Championships in a glittering career. He switched to MotoGP in 2003 with Aprilia and Sunday’s race in Austin will be his 188th MotoGP start.
“I’ve talked with my beautiful wife (Alyssia) and I have been in Europe since 1995 and these young b******s are kicking my ass now. I’m looking forward to spending some more time together with my family,” Edwards said as he made said a shock announcement at the pre-event COTA press conference.
“My kids and my wife we’ve had a few conversations and there are some things that I miss out on. They are getting into baseball, gymnastics and school and I need to be home a lot more.”
Edwards said he came to his decision partly because he has found it a challenge to adapt his style to the new era of electronic controlled MotoGP.
“This year we started testing and I didn’t really see the improvement that I wanted to see and obviously the changing of the riding style. Hell, I’m 40-years-old and trying to change my riding style to make this bike work wasn’t really working.
“As soon as you get into the intense moments you go back to your instincts and my instincts are to ride the bike differently.”
Edwards had no trouble nominating his most memorable moment in racing since he started riding mini-bikes at age three.
“No doubt it was the second race at the Imola round of the World Superbikes in 2002 and my battle with Troy Bayliss,” Edwards said.
“And also my wins in the Suzuka 8 Hour (three) are great memories.”
The second of those 8 Hour wins was in 2001 when he shared a Honda with Valentino Rossi.
Edwards (Honda VTR 1000) and Bayliss (Ducati) staged a breathtaking duel for the 2002 Superbike championship which Edwards clinched at that final race. Edwards also won the Superbike World Championship in 2000.
He switched to MotoGP in 2003 with Aprilia and then spent seven years with Yamaha including three seasons as factory teammate to Valentino Rossi.
Edwards has raced in all 16 MotoGP races held in America since 2005. He finished second in the USGP at Laguna Seca when MotoGP returned to America after a long absence.Colin Edwards, COTA, Grand Prix of The Americas, MotoGP, Troy Bayliss