Aprilia's Colin Edwards: The MD Interview



This guy always have giid things to say

Aprilia's Colin Edwards: The MD Interview, Part One
By Dirck Edge

MD: Colin, congratulations on your World Superbike championship. That was an incredible end to a pretty wild season.

CE: Yeah, I mean it just all came together, you know, it was one of those seasons where, I mean it was rotten [at first]. At the end, I rode better than I had ever ridden, ever, and it all just happened to come together at the right time.

MD: Watching the races, you seemed incredibly calm at the final round when you were one point apart from Troy. Was that just my perception, or did you feel pretty relaxed?

CE: Well yes, I had all this **** in the background. You know what I mean? I had about two weeks before that where numerous people were calling up and wanting to know what was happening next year, and other things happening. I think it actually helped, because I didn't have two weeks to sit and mull over a one point lead. I was doing other things and keeping my mind off of it. At the same time, obviously there were two points of view going into that weekend . . . I can either protect the championship or go out like I had been and take the championship. I thought you know it's worked up to this point, there's no point in changing anything -- just go out there and win those races and do what you do. And that's how it all panned out. As far as being calm, I did feel calm even though at night I was thinking man, f***, I want to win my races, you know, but it was the same attitude I've had up to that point. In other words, you just go win -- that was the only option.

MD: You sure had to know that Troy wasn't going to hold anything back.

CE: No, well we went in with a bit of added confidence because we had a test in there [before the race weekend], and so I felt that we had a slight edge. When we went into the [race] weekend, it rained on Friday and rained a bit more on Saturday, so the track time that everybody got wasn't quality [time]. We already had our bike set up, so I knew I had that in my favor. But you're right, Troy's not one to lay down -- ever, so I knew he was going to be there no matter what.

MD: I guess MotoGP is the ultimate motorcycle roadracing championship, and I would imagine you're happy to make the move over there.

CE: I would say in the past few years . . . yeah, okay, it's always been the ultimate, you know, motorcycle championship. As far as the best racing, I think Superbike was probably a clear first as far as the best racing was concerned, until now. I think next year, obviously, the best racing will be in Grand Prix. When you've got 23 four-strokes in their second year of existence, everybody is still working out some bugs and teething problems. It's going to be interesting.

MD: That brings us to the subject of the bike you're riding. Our readers would have a hard time imagining what it's like to go from a built RC51 with 180 horsepower or so and 360 pounds, and then move to a bike like the Aprilia Cube that's 60 pounds lighter and 30 horsepower healthier. Try to tell our readers what that's like.

CE: If you've read my web site, you might have caught what I said. Basically, I have a good analogy that kinda sums it up. Just find the biggest, meanest bull you can find, chop his balls off and then wave them in front of him, and then hop on his back. You know, that should give you some indication. It's quite different from a Superbike that's for sure. One of the biggest things is the weight. The thing accelerates so hard and it stops so fast. The Aprilia, at the moment, is a bit fat. We've got things working right now to put the thing on a diet, so when that happens it will be that much better. . . . I could sit here all day and explain to you how fast it is and it's still not gonna do it any justice.

MD: Well, my readers don't understand how fast your RC51 was, so they won't understand how fast the Cube is.

CE: Stick a shuttle rocket up your ass, (too much laughing to transcribe) I mean it's quite phenomenal. It is. It's amazing.

MD: You mention the weight. As a three-cylinder the Cube is allowed to be 297 pounds, 10 kilos lighter than the four and five-cylinder bikes. How close is Aprilia getting to that minimum weight.

CE: I'm quite surprised at how rapidly it's coming off. When we start racing next year, it will be, I don't know if it will be at that weight but it will be a lot closer than what it has been.

MD: I know you and Haga haven't really practiced together very much on the Cube, if at all. I guess he got married recently and missed the Jerez test. Your styles are very different. Do you think you guys can learn from each other as far as set-up is concerned?

CE: We can get the bike to 90% for both of us. But that extra 10% takes your own personal touch to make it suit your own riding style and, you know, I have Honda to thank for my riding style . . . over the front end. I never rode like that until I jumped on a Honda, and had to put all your weight on the front just to get the damn thing to turn. Obviously, that's translated into the way I ride a motorcycle now. Yeah, there are things that I'll have to do to build the bike around me, same as Haga. Some things will work [for both of us] I think, and some things maybe my way would be different from his way.

MD: I suppose it's good to have a fast teammate, too. You always measure yourself against your teammate a little bit. If the guy's got the talent of a Haga, then you kinda know where you stand.

CE: That's where I'm different. I have never measured my talent against any of my teammates. There are a lot of other guys that I want to beat before I beat my teammate. There are some guys who get hooked into the mind set that as long as they beat their teammate their going to keep their job for the next year. To me, that's a bunch of bull****. I mean you have to extract 110% out of that bike. Who cares what [my teammate] is doing? If you win races, you win them. If you don't, well you just have to accept what you got. So, yeah, I mean, I don't look at Haga as a, really as a teammate or a competitor. He's just another guy on the track, but there are a hell of a lot more guys I need to beat other than him.

MD: You were at Jerez with Ducati for a few days earlier this week. I suppose there were some guys in your pit with a stop watch on Capirossi and Bayliss -- just to keep an eye on what the competition is doing.

CE: Yeah, that's really how we left the test so confident. We're really happy. We saw an absolute lap record from Capirossi. He went out there on the Ducati and did 42:1 on a qualifier, and a 42:9 on race tires. Everything else he did was mid-43s on race tires. We went out and did the same. We went out on race tires and did low mid-43s on race tires. We were really happy with that. You know that's -- that's a good lap time around there. You always measure how you tested by stop watches. As long as you can get, as long as you're not 2, 3 seconds off, you know come race time you can always find a little bit extra. But, yeah, we were keeping an eye on everybody out there.

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