Josh Waters to hit the ASBK grid on Suzuki GSX-R1000R
By Andrew Gosling and Trevor Hedge
ASBK 2017 received another shot in the arm today with confirmation that Josh Waters will be the first rider in the world to race Suzuki’s all new GSX-R1000R when the season gets underway late this month.
The deal for Josh Waters to compete on the new GSX-R1000R came about only this week.
In fact, it was only this morning, Thursday, that Waters drove from his home in Mildura down to Phillip Island, where Suzuki are conducting the world launch of their new flagship sportsbike, and threw a leg over the new GSX-R1000R for the first time.
There is a massive amount of work to be done in the short period of time before ASBK season 2017 gets underway, and late this month at that season opener, staged in conjunction with the WorldSBK event at Phillip Island, Josh will be the first rider anywhere in the world to race the new GSX-R1000R.
Early indications suggest the base package is competitive, 1m38s out of the box on road tyres good.
Phil Tainton has been on hand at the launch all week and has been studying the machine closely, the master Suzuki tuner will already have plans in place for what is achievable in regards to race preparation ahead of round one.
They have a big task ahead of them over the next couple of weeks and while round one will give some early indications as to the potential of the combination that Waters and PTR can bring to the track, it will not be until round two that they really start to shake it down and really hone the package further.
Tyre longevity is an area that will be critical, they are on Pirelli rubber which is a proven slick at Phillip Island, but suspension set-up will be the key to maintaing a good race pace over the three 12-lap races.
For the ASBK Championship as a whole, it also means that every major manufacturer will be on the grid in 2017 with various levels of factory support.
Add to that the incredible depth of riding talent present in the ASBK entry list below, and it will be anyone’s guess as to who will come punching out of the blocks hardest late this month…?
WorldSBK Phillip Island 2017 Australian Superbike Supports Entry List
- #1 Troy Herfoss – Honda
- #3 David Barker – Kawasaki
- #11 Phil Czaj – Aprilia
- #12 Matt Walters – Kawasaki
- #13 Jed Metcher – Yamaha
- #14 Glenn Allerton – Yamaha
- #15 Nick Marsh – Yamaha
- #18 Ashley Manuel – Kawasaki
- #19 Ashley Fleming – Aprilia
- #20 Alex Phillis – Aprilia
- #21 Josh Waters – Suzuki
- #24 Robbie Bugden – Kawasaki
- #25 Daniel Falzon – Yamaha
- #30 Gary Smith – Yamaha
- #31 Jack Baker – Kawasaki
- #33 Hamish McMurray – Kawasaki
- #34 William Davidson – Yamaha
- #37 Chas Hern – MV Agusta
- #39 Alastair Loomes – Kawasaki
- #46 Simon Galloway – Yamaha
- #47 Wayne Maxwell – Yamaha
- #48 Paul Dutton – Yamaha
- #49 Albie Wheeler – Yamaha
- #50 Callum Spriggs – Ducati
- #52 Corey Turner – Yamaha
- #54 Sam Lambert – BMW
- #56 Troy Guenther – BMW
- #65 Cru Halliday – Yamaha
- #66 Aaiden Coote – Kawasaki
- #67 Bryan Staring – Honda
- #68 Mitch Levy – Yamaha
- #69 Heath Griffin – Ducati
- #77 Adam Senior – Yamaha
- #78 Nathan Spiteri – Kawasaki
- #82 Jake Drew – Yamaha
- #83 Kyle Buckley – Kawasaki
- #86 Beau Beaton – Ducati
- #88 Brendan Schmidt – Kawasaki
- #104 Max James-Beatsonbell – Yamaha
- #131 John Quinn – Suzuki
- #152 Paul Byrne – Honda
- #178 Michael Blair – Yamaha
- #686 Tracey Davies – Ducati
2017 ASBK Calendar:
- Round 1: Phillip Island GP Circuit, (WSBK) VIC- 23-26 February
- Round 2: Wakefield Park Raceway, NSW – 17-19 March
- Round 3: Winton Motor Raceway, VIC – 28-30 April
- Round 4: (TBC) – June
- Round 5: Morgan Park Raceway, Warick, QLD – 25-27 August
- Round 6: SMP Eastern Creek, NSW – 8- 10 September
- Round 7: Phillip Island Circuit, VIC – 6-10 October