Colin Edwards III has something in common with Bret Favre and Cal Ripken Jr. besides a cool nickname.
The Texas Tornado, The Gun Slinger and Iron Man all have record-setting consecutive starting streaks. Cal Ripken broke a 56-year old Major League Baseball record on his way to 2,632 consecutive games played ending in 1998, while Bret’s NFL recorded stands at 321 consecutive starts.
And Colin Edwards? Not a single missed race in MotoGP since 2003.
But this came to an end this week. While participating in Friday’s Cataluna MotoGP practice, Edwards broke his right collarbone on the damp circuit. Saturdays reports insured the operation to plate the bone of the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 rider was successful in Europe.
This unfortunate incident ends the Texas Tornado’s consecutive MotoGP starts streak at 141, dating back to his MotoGP debut in 2003.
What does it take to reach such monumental task in a professional sport? Sure, baseball isn’t that physically demanding but all it takes is a sprained ankle to miss a game. MLB teams can play 4 or 5 games a week so there isn’t much time to recover between games.
On the other side of the coin you have football; it doesn’t get much more brutal than that. Sure you have 300+ pound offensive linemen protecting you and a week to recover but Brett carried this streak into his 40s.
Luck is a big part of it but training is key. Ripken was known to work out after games for hours. Favre was tough enough to also carry the "Most Sacked, career" record of 525!
Edwards successive starts can easily be attributed to his experience prior to his 2003 rookie season. Before MotoGP, Edwards raced eight season in World Superbike, winning the Championship twice and 3 wins at Suzuka 8 hours.
According to Monster Tech 3 Yamaha’s Herve Poncharal, besides missing the Catalunya MotoGP race, Colin Edwards is also expected to miss Silverstone (June 10-12). And as for Edwards’ attitude towards the situation, while according to Poncharal, it remains positive.
Herve Poncharal says: "We are still obviously very sorry for what happened to Colin but he is already back to being the Colin Edwards we know and love, laughing and joking with staff at the hospital, so we hope to see him back in the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 family very soon.
"Cal though is certainly doing his best to put the smile back on our faces. His performances on tracks he’s never seen before have been remarkable, and today he showed again he is a top level MotoGP rider. He looks more like a seasoned campaigner than a rookie and to qualify in the top six again against this competition is a fantastic achievement. We are looking forward to the race with a lot of confidence now and hopefully he can do Colin and the Team proud."