2012 MotoGP CRT
Colin Edwards spent the last nine years competing in the premier class of MotoGP, riding for his first season (2003) on an Aprilia, then a Honda (2004), and Yamaha (2005-2011).
But for 2012, the 37-year-old Texan will embark on a new journey in MotoGP, competing on a CRT, or Claiming Rules Team.
Each CRT is a privateer MotoGP entry that will be permitted to have certain flexibility in fuel-tank capacity and engines, making them competitive to run with the other prototypes; also for 2012, all MotoGP motorcycles will have a capacity of 1000cc.
Edwards will compete in 2012 aboard NGM Forward Racing’s BMW-powered Suter CRT machine, a machine he just tested for two days in Jerez, Spain.
It was the first time Edwards was on the track since he was injured in the Sepang accident that claimed the life of Marco Simoncelli. But after the private testing was complete, Edwards posted a fastest time of 142.6, which was also the fastest of all recorded CRT times at the Jerez private MotoGP test. Although his times were quickest, the CRT machine was only a few tenths of a second quicker than the Moto2 bikes.
To put this into perspective, the fastest of the Moto2 times came from Scott Redding (Marc VDS Racing Team), who posted a 1.42.9.
Regardless of overall times, though, it was the debut test for the CRT, and the potential is there, Edwards told MotoGP.
Colin Edwards (NGM Forward Racing BMW Suter CRT MotoGP) says: “Overall, it is better than I thought it would be, the potential is there. I think we are at about 65 percent right now.”
Edwards says the remaining development of the BMW Suter MotoGP machine will arrive from improvements of electronics.
Colin Edwards says: “The chassis is set up, but the main thing is the electronics and getting the whole package to come together. With the electronics, every time we make a little change and make it better, everything just gets a little smoother and easier.”
“The bike reminds me a lot of 2003 when I went to Aprilia. It’s got a screamer engine, lots of torque, somebody built the chassis, someone put an engine it, and it came a long way through the year. It was one of the first bikes with ride by wire and all the electronics.
“It reminds me a lot of that. But I know what I need, I know what I am looking for, I know what want, I know how to make the bike go faster, so the main thing now is just don’t lose focus and keep going down the right path.”
“We didn’t set the world on fire, but like I said we are at 65 percent, we have to work to find the rest of it.”
The NGM Forward Racing BMW-Suter CRT was mostly tested on Bridgestone tires from 2011, but the team got some brief laps in with a new rear tire, which presented some chatter issues.
Colin Edwards says: “We got a little more chatter…once we get the electronics fixed I know that will go away, I am sure it will.”
Besides testing a new CRT, Edwards also began working with his new crew chief, Kor Veldman.
Colin Edwards says: “I’ve never worked with him before, but he has a lot of knowledge and experience and we get along great. Just spending a couple days with me I can see he knows what he is talking about, and that’s a plus, you know, when you can find someone you can communicate with and get things done. So I’m really happy with him.”
The team now has two months of work before the first official MotoGP test of 2012 in Sepang Jan. 31 through Feb. 2.