Colin Edwards Jr.(born February 27, 1974 in Houston, Texas) is a Grand Prix motorcycle road racer from the USA, who has two World Superbike titles to his credit. Edwards currently competes in MotoGP, riding a Yamaha 2006 spec YZR-M1 motorcycle. Colin's height is officially recorded as 179 cm, and his weight as 66 kg. Colin's nickname is the "Texas Tornado" and his race number is 5. Colin is married to Alyssia, with whom he has a daughter, Gracie. Colin and his family live in Conroe, Texas.
At the age of three his Australian father, Colin Edwards Sr. (an amateur motorcycle racer himself), introduced him to a minibike, and Edwards entered his first motocross race at the age of four. Over the next ten years Edwards became one of the top-ranked junior motocross competitors in the USA, winning dozens of races in the 50 cc to 80 cc categories in local, regional and national events.
In 1988 at the age of 14, Edwards stopped competing in motocross races, having become distracted by the normal demands of being a teenager. However in 1990, Edwards and his father attended a motorcycle road race event in north Texas, and this inspired him to attempt road racing.
In 1991 Edwards began competing in amateur road-racing events locally, but rapidly progressed to national events. He was undefeated in every amateur event he entered that year, and won numerous national amateur titles. His performance was sufficiently impressive for him to be offered a sponsored ride with South West Motorsports, and Edwards turned professional just before the commencement of the 1992 season.
In his first professional season (1992) Edwards entered the AMA 250cc National Series. He won five of the nine races and the national title over second-place earner Kenny Roberts Jr. In 1993 and 1994 Edwards rode for Vance and Hines on a Yamaha in the AMA Superbike series, earning 6th and 5th place overall in those years.
In 1995 Edwards was offered a factory position with Yamaha in the World Superbike series. His results in 1995 were disappointing as Edwards struggled to adjust to the demands of competing in a global competition, but in 1996 he achieved a greatly improved 6th overall in World Superbikes. In 1996 Edwards also teamed with Noriyuki Haga to claim victory in the Suzuka 8 Hours endurance race, his first international victory. Edwards would win the 8 Hours two more times; in 2001 with Valentino Rossi and in 2002 with the late Daijiro Kato.
1997 was a disappointing year for Edwards as he was forced to withdraw from competing due to injuries sustained in the 5th round of the World Superbike series. He was replaced in the Yamaha World Superbike Team and was unable to negotiate a position in the 500 cc Grand Prix competition. Fortunately Edwards was able to conclude a deal with Honda to ride the RC45 motorcycle in the 1998 World Superbike series. Edwards finished 5th overall that year, and earned his first solo international victory at Brands Hatch.
In 1999 Edwards managed several more victories for Honda and ended the series in second overall position, behind champion Carl Fogarty. In 2000 Edwards rode the Honda VTR-1000 SP1/RC51 twin cylinder motorcycle to overall victory in the World Superbike championship. He came second to Ducati rider, Troy Bayliss in the 2001 season but reclaimed the title from Bayliss in 2002 in a dramatic fashion, clinching the championship in the final race of the season.
Edwards has twice represented the United States in the Michelin Race of Champions Nation's Cup, first in 2000 and again in 2002 when the US team won the event. The competition involves a national team that includes an automobile racer, a rally/off-road driver and a motorcycle racer. The 2002 US team included former off-road racer and NASCAR rookie Jimmie Johnson as the rally driver, and four-time NASCAR champion Jeff Gordon in the automobile category.
Since 2003 Edwards has competed in MotoGP. In that year he rode for the greatly troubled Aprilia team on the RS3 Cube, and his only notable accomplishment in that otherwise dismal year was avoiding serious injury when his machine caught fire at Sachsenring.
2004 saw Edwards riding for the Honda Telefonica team, and he achieved his first podium position at Donington. Edwards finished the 2004 season in 5th overall position, the highest position of any rider to have come to MotoGP from Superbike racing. In 2005 Edwards again finished 5th, riding for Yamaha as teammate to the world champion Valentino Rossi. His best result for 2005 was a second position at Laguna Seca, behind compatriot Nicky Hayden.
For 2006, we find Colin Edwards once again contending the FIM Moto GP championship with Camel Yamaha (factory team) onboard the YZR-M1 with teammate Valentino Rossi. So far, the factory Yamaha team has had a troubling start to their racing year with "chatter" problems and tire wear issues. It has been said that the YZR-M1 is the only GP bike in history to ride faster with worn tires versus fresh tires.
Recently, the factory team built a new chassis for the 2006 spec YZR-M1 to combat the aforementioned problems. Rossi took to the new chassis quickly and rode to victory at his home race of Mugello for the 5th consecutive time since 2001. Edwards hasn't had the time to "gel" with the new chassis just yet, which resulted in him sticking with the older version for the Mugello race. He finished 12th.
Going into the Catalunya, Spain round, Edwards lay 8th in the series with 49 points behind Toni Elias of Fortuna Honda by 4 points and ahead of Sete Gibernau of Marlboro Ducati by 5 points. At Assen he took the lead at the start, and led until Nicky Hayden passed him on the penultimate lap. He caught back up to his countryman on the last lap, and managed to pass him a few corners from the end. When Hayden attempted to pass him again in the final chicane, Edwards ran across the gravel and lost control of his bike, which briefly continued on without him. He remounted to finish 13th. Hayden, who ran across the gravel on the final chicane himself, managed to keep control of his bike and won the race. At his home race, the Red Bull U.S. Grand Prix, Edwards finished 9th suffering tire problems in the scorching heat like his teammate Valentino Rossi.