Privateer Josh Waters had his work cut out for him heading into 2020, forming his own team following Suzuki’s surprise decision to withdraw from supporting a factory team in 2020.
The weekend at Phillip Island though worked out even better than Waters could have hoped. Two very strong third places and third overall for the round earning him 51 championship points, a great reward for his new privateer based team.
MCNews.com.au caught up with Josh Waters immediately after race three at Phillip Island on the weekend.
Josh Waters interview
Trevor Hedge: We’re just here with Josh Waters after the opening round of the ASBK. Josh the pressure has been on in the off-season, you’ve had to put your own team together, a new privateer outfit after Suzuki pulled out towards the end of last year. I think you felt like you’d been left a bit high and dry there perhaps, so it was all hands on deck to get you back on track. Its been quite a mission to pull all this together, you must be very, very – very – happy how this has come together. You haven’t quite challenged for the win, but not far off…
Josh Waters: “Yeah I’m wrapped, like you said, to put together a squad that you can do the whole year with, isn’t as easy as I maybe thought at the start. So I’ve had some great people around me, and they’ve been able to get me some good backing, and we’re still a very small team. I haven’t ridden as much as I would have liked to, we did the test, I was quite a ways off. So coming into the event, I wasn’t sure if I was going to be able to fight to be P3 for the majority of the weekend. I wasn’t in Race 2, where I got sixth, but I was still fighting for third. I was a little ways off but that pace was soooo fast, I’m really happy.”
Trev: Are you going to get any time to test at Wakefield Park?
Waters: “I hope to do the test that everyone else is doing.”
Trev: You’re transitioning back to Dunlop this year as well, hows that?
Waters: “It has changed how I ride the bike a bit, one guy was just saying to me, ‘jeez it looks like you’re building confidence every time I watch you ride.’ I needed to try and change something, because I was maybe a little bit the same all the time. I didn’t have a wonderful year last year, but I still came to the final round and could have had a chance to win the championship, with the perfect weekend and someone else having some bad luck. Dunlop have been great to me, have got behind me and I’m really appreciative of that.”
Trev: As you bought up confidence, rightly or wrongly, I always thought that effects you a lot as a rider more than most. I can see the level of confidence or how happy you are from your face, I can read you from a mile away… You’ve been smiles all weekend and it’s great to see.
Waters: “I read that last night [on MCNews.com.au], what you’d wrote about the races yesterday, ‘Whenever Josh is happy he seems to go alright’, I’ve known you a long time and maybe the old Josh is back. I’m obviously riding a lot better, and happy with the feeling of what I’ve got underneath me.”
Trev: It must be good for your backers, hopefully they’ll get behind you even more and propel things forward, and of course this fills you with some more confidence. Like I said its great to see you smiling, a smiling Josh Waters is a dangerous Josh Waters.
ASBK next heads to Wakefield Park later this month, the Goulburn circuit plays host to Round Two of the series over the March 27-29 weekend.
2020 mi-bike Australian Superbike Championship Points
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