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Colin has finally returned to his roots with Yamaha and his new ride on board the YZR-M1. Forget the recent hurricanes in Florida, because 2005 will be the year of the Texas Tornado if Colin has his way.

It started with Colin the same way that it did with many of today’s motorsport stars. His father was involved in motorcycling and it automatically rubbed off on the youngster. At just three years old Coin was already on a dirtbike and would begin competing a year later. While most of us were still trying to figure out our training wheel situation on our beginners pedal bikes Colin was already racing a motorcycle.

It wasn’t until twelve years later that Colin would leave the dirt behind and try his hand on the road courses though. “I was burned out on dirt racing. I’d been doing motocross and supercross for twelve years already and wanted to try something new.

I remember I did seven laps on a Ninja 250 when I was sixteen. The thing was slow as Hell, but when I came back in I told my Dad that I could go fast on the bike. I felt then, and still do, that two wheels are two wheels. I was young enough then that my learning curve was still open and quick enough to adapt. I really didn’t see a big difference though, so the crossover was easy.”

Colin’s novice year in roadracing saw him campaigning a Honda RC30 and a Yamaha TZ250 in the AMA/CCS and WERA/GNF series. After a good bit of success there he moved up to run with the big boys in the AMA Superbike classes o board a Vance&Hines Yamaha. Colin recalls, “Yeah, those were the good old days of racing. I remember Northwest Honda here in Houston working out a deal with me. We swapped tires for some help on with a mechanic. They really helped me out.”

Colin also fondly remembers the first time he rode the now classic Honda RC30, “Holy **** that thing was fast! That was the first bike I had ridden that actually made me think that.”

Colin’s recollection of how quick the 85 horsepower of the RC30 was made us curious as to what he thinks of his new ride on the 225 horsepower Yamaha M1. “You know, fast is fast, but you really always want more. Whether it’s speed or handling or whatever you’ll always get used to it.”

We can’t say that we’re surprised to have such a vague answer from the Texan, because his laid back demeanor that he’s so well known for simply wouldn’t allow for him to giggle about how fast or nimble the bike is. But we were able to get some emotion out of him when we mentioned the fact that he should probably be getting progressively slower and taking less risks now that he’s a family man. “The old myth of losing half a second once you get married might apply to some people, but certainly not me. In 2000 I got married (to Alyssia) and won the (World Superbike) championship. Then in 2002 when Alyssia got pregnant (with daughter Gracie Kayte) I started doing much better. When you’re out there doing your job you simply can’t think about your family. You know what you have to do, and that’s prove yourself. Family can’t be in your head when you’re racing.

The day that I go out on the track and feel happy with a top five finish or whatever is the day I quit. I come to win, and that’s the only reason I’m here. Otherwise I’d just be at home making babies.”

As far as being teammates with the now legendary Valentino Rossi is concerned Colin doesn’t feel the pressure, “He’s my teammate, but I still want to beat him. In the end we’re both on the same team though, and if there’s something I can do to help him or he can for me you can bet we’ll do it.

One thing I certainly don’t want is his life though. The guy can’t go out in public because he’s such a huge star in Europe, yet I don’t have to worry about that stuff when I’m home in Texas. If I want to go sit at the local Chili’s and get drunk one afternoon I can do so without being mobbed by the press or fans. I’m not big headed and don’t have much of an ego, so it’s all good with me. Whatever does happen though I have to deal with it as a rider. I’ve got the best job in the world and can’t complain for a minute.”

That’s the attitude that makes Colin such a loveable character in the racing world. We’re certainly pulling for him to do well this year, and it doesn’t seem out of the question to include him in the title chase. He’s finally on competitive machinery and has arguably the best racer ever as his teammate. The MotoGP world had best prepare for a storming 2005 season from the Texas Tornado.

Quick facts:


Date of Birth: February 27, 1974
Resides: Conroe, Texas
Hobbies: Snowboarding, golf, motocross
Pets: Scooter (English Bulldog) and Harley (Yellow Lab)
Favorite music: Anything other than jazz or opera
Favorite food: Italian
Status: Married to Alyssia, daughter Gracie Kayte
In the Garage: 1960 Cadillac, Lincoln Navigator, SRT-10 Ram, 1967 Mustang w/725hp, Mercedes Benz SL55

Career Accomplishments:
1992: National 250cc Champion
1996: Winner: Suzuka Eight Hours
2000: World Superbike Champion – 8 race wins
2001: Winner: Suzuka Eight Hours
2002: World Superbike Champion – 11 race wins
Winner: Suzuka Eight Hours


Reprinted from 2WTMAG.COM
 
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