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  Wednesday, 16 October, 2002, 10:03 GMT 11:03 UK
Champion Edwards leaves Superbikes
Colin Edwards of Honda
Edwards enjoyed a fabulous finish to the 2002 season
World Superbike champion Colin Edwards says he will switch to the rival MotoGP championship next season, probably with Italian team Aprilia.

The Texan won his second superbike title with Honda at Imola last month after nine consecutive wins took him ahead of defending champion Troy Bayliss.

Edwards wants to continue using Michelin tyres, and with Honda's MotoGP team using Bridgestones, the 28-year-old said he had decided to look elsewhere.


This was the most interesting offer
Colin Edwards

The Japanese team are now set to quit World Superbikes altogether to concentrate on MotoGP.

Honda bosses remained tight-lipped about their future plans but a decision over the Castrol-backed team is expected 25 October.

"I had a letter of intent with Ducati to stay in (Superbikes) but that got blown out of the water and Honda came in with an offer to ride on Bridgestones in MotoGP," he said.

"Then I thought I might as well talk to everyone else and it just escalated. This was the most interesting offer - Aprilia need some help with development and I think I am the man to do it."

Edwards, who has been racing in Superbikes since 1995 and was champion in 2000, had also spoken to Yamaha about a Moto GP ride for next season.

Australian Bayliss has also joined the exodus from Superbikes to MotoGP, which did away with the 500cc restriction to the top category of grand prix motorcycling before last season.

Aprilia have run one bike - the Cube - in the MotoGP this season ridden by Frenchman Regis Laconi, who is currently 19th in the standings.

Edwards said on his website that he had no hard feelings towards his former team.

"These are the hardest and best working group of folks I've had the pleasure to be around and I'm going to miss them," he said.

"Now a new chapter has begun and I am excited to bring my knowledge, work skills, and Michelin to Aprilia."

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29 Sep 02 | Motorbikes
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