With Nitro Noriyuki Haga running out of, well, nitro this season it seems increasingly clear that likeable as he is, he will not be factory Xerox Ducati mounted in 2010. Who to replace him with? Rumors coming out of the Brno World Superbike round were that the team were in talks with 2 time champion and current Tech 3 MotoGP pilot, Colin Edwards.
Edwards is of course no stranger to the World Superbike paddock, having taken the title twice on the Honda VTR1000SP-W twin (RC51) in 2000 and in spectacular fashion in 2002 where he beat out Troy Bayliss to victory at the final round in Imola. You can revisit some of the excitement below.
If you watched enough of the video you would have been reminded that for 2003 there was talk of Edwards heading to Ducati (instead he signed for Aprilia in MotoGP on the ill-fated Cube). With his run in MotoGP coming to an end, coupled with a disappointing season this year on the satellite Yamaha M1 even Edwards himself is openly talking of the attraction of the ‘other’ four stroke series. Speaking to Superbike Planet’s Dean Adams he said:
“I tell you what’s really alluring to the World Superbike thing is I am just so pissed off, pretty much all the time now. I come to a race and I see all my friends. But the lure is basically to be happy. I would like to be happy again and fight for a victory. That’s what is enticing, let’s say, to look at that scenario and finish my career with a World Championship or two. At the very minimum, you’re winning races and you’re fighting for victories every weekend.
link: Superbike Planet
Of course the form for former champions returning to the series is not exactly stellar. Chris Vermeulen has made no impact on the series this year at least in part due to his knee injury and uncompetitive Kawasaki, but what is Edward’s former Tech 3 teammates excuse? Twice champion James Toseland has been relatively unimpressive so far, with 4 podiums and no victories on the bike that Ben Spies dominated the series with last year.
Still, it would be great to see Edwards back in the series and if on board the Ducati we would be swapping one fan favorite in Haga for another.
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