Colin Edwards says he is not worrying about his long-term future in MotoGP and will just make the most of what he thinks will be a very competitive Tech 3 Yamaha in 2009.
Tech 3 boss Herve Poncharal admitted last month that Yamaha had intended 2008 to be Edwards's last season with the company, but he earned a one-year extension to his deal with the satellite squad after a series of strong performances.
Now the second-oldest rider in the field after Loris Capirossi, 35-year-old Edwards said he was not going to let speculation about his future affect him.
"It's kind of like last year," he said in an interview with the Indianapolis Grand Prix website. "I'm just happy to ride. I'm not really worried about what the future will hold. I'm just happy to be on a motorcycle and riding, and being competitive. That's the main thing.
"As long as you keep that attitude and keep the fire, it's all good. But if you lose that fire or you're just going around doing nothing, it's time to go home."
Edwards was fourth quickest in testing at Sepang last week, completing relatively little mileage because he was so content with the new Yamaha's performance on the control Bridgestone tyres. He reckons he has not felt so confident in a bike's immediate performance since he won the 2002 Superbike World Championship for Honda.
"Everything just seems to be pretty balanced," Edwards said. "They did their homework and understood how to make it better and get the most out of it. I had a bit of a wheelie problem last year, and they've cured that. Had a bit of a flat spot in the engine that we had last year. Cured that. It seems like a really good package.
"The whole first day we went out - I think we did 40 laps or something - I never even touched it. I never changed a click, never changed a spring.
"2002, my last year in World Superbike, we had a bike like this. We pulled it out, and I think all year we barely (changed anything)."
The American added that he was also extremely happy with the outcome of Tech 3's winter crew chief swap, which saw Guy Coulon move from James Toseland's bike to Edwards's, and Gary Reynders move in the opposite direction.
But while Edwards is delighted with Coulon, he said the change had seen a breakdown in his relationship with Toseland.
"He's not on the Christmas card list whatsoever," said Edwards of Toseland. "It's funny. We don't talk anymore after this little incident.
"They decided for my crew chief to go to James, and James decided that my crew chief was better than his.
"His crew chief last year, I'm with now, and he's frickin' awesome. I'm a lot happier with my crew chief. It's just so relaxed. I don't have to stroke (my crew chief's) ego like I did last year. Everybody's just so relaxed, just happy to be riding motorcycles."
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