Josh Waters talks ASBK 2018
2018 will see Josh Waters defend his Australian Superbike Championship Title in a field that is bigger than ever and thick with talent.
Waters has three ASBK Superbike Championships to his name, the first coming in 2009, the second in 2012 and the most recent last year, 2017. All have been won on Suzuki GSX-R1000 machinery.
Trev recently caught up with Waters ahead of the season opener at Phillip Island.
Your defence of the title starts next weekend, how tough is it going to be to hold onto the number 1 plate this year?
“This year is going to be extremely difficult because the field is even stronger than last year, and we’ve seen from the official test how close everyone was. Three of our rivals are going to be riding with the best riders of the world for a week , so they are going to be really tough to beat at Phillip Island, like every round, but they’ll be really good there.”
“We saw how good Bryan Staring was, Glenn (Allerton) was up there, Bayliss I’m sure is going to do something special in front of all his friends, so it’s going to be tough, but I just need to worry about myself.”
You tested there this week as well, any sort of breakthroughs?
“Yea, there was improvements, it was good, but I don’t know how good because no one else was there. So I look forward to next weekend and round one.”
We all know that a lot of ASBK results come down to tyre management and tyre wear, you know you can set a fast lap time around there, is it now about trying to get a handle on tyre longevity?
“That’s all we’ve been doing so far, so I am going to run – like everyone I’m sure – a soft in qualifying, in the lead up to the race I’ll have to do that. But I haven’t done that , everyone remembers the race winner, not who got pole, so I’m really happy with how we’ve been going. I’m sure everyone has done exactly what I’ve just said though.”
Can you just go out there with a mind to hold something back for later in the race? Realistically I guess it is an always eveolving situation, depending pretty much where you end up out the other side of turn one on the opening lap…?
“Yea exactly, that’s all correct, especially as we saw at the back of Round 1 last year, just how many people were up the front. Round one is always tough, because everyone goes in there, all equal on points, wzero, and everyone has got a lot of self belief that they are going to go good.
“It’s not until the middle of the year you see who’s going to be there for the championship, but round one is always extremely difficult for those reasons already mentioned. I hope to get a ripper start, and race away, but I don’t think it’s going to be that easy.”
You got the ride the MotoGP machine at Sepang, how was that?
“It was unbelievable, a once in a lifetime opportunity, and I just had a grin from ear to ear. I think of those MotoGP riders in a different level now, after how physical the bike was. I’m sure if I was fortunate to do more time on it, your body would get used to it, but I think those guys are special.
What about what else you’ve been up to in the off season up there at Mildura? Banging around with your brothers on dirt bikes, speedway, or boating? All of the above?
“Yep, all of the above. A bit of time on the river, and always doing stuff, keeping active through work, all normal Australian things.”
Trev: Did you have any overseas visitors to Mildura? Did Nobu (Aoki) come down this year?
JW: We didn’t have Nobu this time, but we did have the Mackenzie family over for a month from the UK.
All of them?
“Yep all of them, Taylor and Taz (both race in BSB). So that was good, you’re hanging with your friends and training all the time, so it was pretty active, pretty full on.
“I’ve been away quite a bit also, helping out at the Levi Day’s track days at McNamara Park, and stuff like that, I enjoy that. You get to hang around with people that enjoy what you like doing.
Without the pressure of a stop watch…
“Always great to ride for fun without having to worry about a lap time…so I enjoy that.”
2018 ASBK Superbike Entry List – Round 1
- 14 Glenn Allerton – NextGen Motorsports NSW BMW
- 3 David Barker – VIC Kawasaki
- 21 Troy Bayliss – Desmosport Ducati QLD Ducati
- 178 Michael Blair – Yamaha, Gosford Classic Car Museum NSW A Yamaha
- 83 Kyle Buckley – Kawasaki Bcperformance QLD A Kawasaki
- 30 Markus Chiodo – Team Suzuki Ecstart Australia VIC A Suzuki
- 27 Adam Christie – AGMT Suzuki, ECSTAR Oils SA A Suzuki
- 29 Ted Collins – VIC A BMW
- 53 Mason Coote – AARK Suspension and Tuning, Kubuto Helmets VIC A Kawasaki
- 66 Aaiden Coote – AARK Suspension and Tuning / Cykel Products VIC B Kawasaki
- 11 Philip Czaj – Eco light Up, 11Motosport VIC A Aprilia
- 686 Tracey Davies – Villa Verde free Range Eggs, Girl Rdier VIC C Ducati
- 82 Jake Drew – Brighton Bikes & Bits, Willmax Graphics, YRD VIC B Yamaha
- 25 Daniel Falzon – Yamaha Racing Team / yamaha SA A Yamaha
- 43 Edward Faulkhead – VIC Honda
- 33 Sloan Frost – Treble Cone NZ A Suzuki
- 22 Trent Gibson – A6M7 Suzuki VIC A Suzuki
- 69 Heath Griffin – Russell Symes & Company, Craig McMartin NSW B Ducati
- 96 Mathew Harding – K&R Hydraulics / Kawasaki Connection NSW A Kawasaki
- 17 Troy Herfoss – Penrite Honda QLD A Honda
- 57 Michael Jones – Allsite Concrete Cutting XXX Rated Race… QLD A Kawasaki
- 41 Brian Kozan – Qualia Racing, Brian Kozan VIC C BMW
- 68 Mitchell Levy – ATR / Manshed Auctions NSW A Yamaha
- 92 Patrick Li – MotoGo Yamaha VIC B Yamaha
- 39 Tassy Limanis – Vinnies Racing VIC D BMW
- 18 Ashley Manuel – Pendragon Racing SA B Kawasaki
- 137 Luke Martyr – VIC C Yamaha
- 47 Wayne Maxwell – Yamaha racing Team / Yamaha VIC A Yamaha
- 74 Scott McGregor – Mini Loader Hire Vic A Yamaha
- 62 Brendan McIntyre – Western M’cycles Sydney NSW A Suzuki
- 37 Hamish McMurray – Six ways from Sunday NSW B Kawasaki
- 64 Aaron Morris – YRD NSW A Yamaha
- 20 Alex Phillis – Phillis Racing VIC A Suzuki
- 94 Mitchell Rees – Carl Cox Motorsport, Honda, Tony Rees Motorcycles NZ Honda
- 81 Joel Rhodes – Bikebiz, Pathway Communications NSW C Yamaha
- 77 Adam Senior – Senior Engineering / Pirelli WA A Yamaha
- 61 Arthur Sissis – SA Suzuki
- 16 Rowen Smith – Assembly Now VIC B Kawasaki
- 78 Nathan Spiteri – Livson, RST VIC B Suzuki
- 50 Callum Spriggs – Desmosport Ducati QLD A Kawasaki
- 67 Bryan Staring – Kawasaki, BC Performance WA A Kawasaki
- 99 William Strugnell – Statewide RR, Lees Spoton Motorcycles SA A Kawasaki
- 56 Bradley Swallow – Kawsaki Oz / Duspeed NSW A Kawasaki
- 24 Matt Tooley – Phillip Island Ride Days VIC C Yamaha
- 44 Cody Travers – Cycle World Tasmania TAS Suzuki
- 52 Corey Turner – Brisbane Motorcycles QLD A Suzuki
- 34 Justin Vella – Benzina Garage/Vella Developments VIC C Kawasaki
- 188 Lucas Vitale – BCPerformance Junior Team NSW A Kawasaki
- 12 Matt Walters – Swann Insurance Superbike NSW A Kawasaki
- 1 Josh Waters – Team Suzuki Ecstar Australia VIC A Suzuki
2018 ASBK Calendar
- Round 1- WSBK, Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit VIC February 22 – 25
- Round 2- Wakefield Park Raceway, Goulburn NSW March 16 – 18
- Round 3- The Bend Motorsport Park, Tailem Bend, SA April 19 – 22
- Round 4- Hidden Valley Raceway, Darwin NT June 28 – 1 July
- Round 5- Morgan Park Raceway, Warwick QLD August 17 – 19
- Round 6- Winton Motor Raceway, Benalla, VIC September 7 – 9
- Round 7- Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit, VIC October 12 – 14