Team Joe Rocket Suzuki’s Josh Waters speaks with MotoOnline.com.au about giving the GSX-R1000K9 a sensational start in ASBK at Eastern Creek.
You don’t get much better than setting pole position, a new lap record and winning the overall for the weekend with a brand new bike, and that’s exactly what Team Joe Rocket Suzuki’s Josh Waters achieved at the Eastern Creek’s round four of the Australian Superbike Championship last weekend.
The talented fulltime Superbike rookie won his first Superpole Shootout and then went on to go 2-1 in the pair of 13 lap races on Sunday, setting a blistering lap record of 1:30.998 in the process.
In fact, Waters crossed the start/finish line in first position on 25 of the 26 race laps run on Sunday, only losing out to defending champion Glenn Allerton in a last lap pass during race one.
MotoOnline.com.au got in touch with the 22-year-old to get the lowdown on his debut event with the 2009 model GSX-R1000, interrupting him at work just days after he won a round of Australia’s premier motorcycle road racing series.
Congratulations on the weekend, Josh. You must be pretty stoked with the debut on the K9 GSX-R1000?
Yeah, for sure. It’s a real credit to the team. They did an awesome job with the bike. I was actually a little bit nervous heading into the round at Eastern Creek, because even though I like the track, I’ve never really got the results there that I’ve been looking for. So I was a bit nervous, but in the end it all worked out alright.
How disappointing was it for you that Glenn was able to sneak by on the final lap of race one?
I was pretty disappointed, but he outsmarted me and there wasn’t much I could do. Before the second one Phil [Tainton] gave me a briefing on what to do if Glenn was behind me again, but I told him that I wanted to try and break away from them at the start.
I was able to do that and it was really good. I knew that Glenn wouldn’t be giving up in the first race. I knew he was going to have a go, but I just didn’t know when.
But you certainly came out swinging in the second with a new lap record on lap three. Where did you find that extra pace for the second race?
The funny thing is that we didn’t change a thing on the bike in between races. Mainly it was just myself who changed, I just knew that after the first race what to expect and kind of got all my nerves out of the way. I knew at the start that I had a gap because I couldn’t hear them getting on the power out of Turn Seven or Nine, so I was just trying to keep making good, fast, consistent laps.
Were you surprised that you were able to dip into the 30s during the race? A few guys had tyre troubles, but your pace didn’t seem to overwork the tyres.
Yeah, I wanted to stop and show everybody in the pits the time that came up on my dash [laughs]. I couldn’t believe it when the 30.9 came up on my bike’s lap timer. But about two laps after that the tyre must have spun on the rim, because the bike started to chatter a bit and I thought ‘oh no, I’ve wrecked my chance’.
I started feeling little movements and I felt like I should back it off a little bit. Even when I did back it off I was still able to lap quite fast, so I just thought that if the tyre was going to fall apart then I’d let it fall apart – just try to nurse it to the end. After all that I had a look at the tyre after the race and there was nothing wrong with it, it just slipped on the rim.
So just how different is this new GSX-R1000? What makes it better than the bike you started the season with?
The main thing is that it’s just so much easier to ride. The way that the power is delivered is better and a lot smoother, so I feel like I can get on the gas harder off the turns. Both Shawn [Giles] and myself agree that the bike’s easier to get down to quick times on, but to go that next step is always a little harder. With the older bike it was just harder to get to the quick times straight away. Now we can come out swinging.
You’ve closed the point lead down to seven points now. Is the package that you have good enough to go on and win the crown as a fulltime rookie?
I think that we can, for sure. But I’m well aware that Glenn and his team will go back and make some improvements for the next round. Glenn is really strong at Mallala and both he and Wayne [Maxwell] are really good at Phillip Island. I hope that my package is good enough, but we need to keep working hard. I spoke to Phil about it and we know it’s not going to be easy, but I definitely think I have more of a chance to win with the new bike.
It was a good weekend at the Creek with a solid crowd, Superpole, the podium presentations live after each race with champagne and all that, so does that make winning more special as a rider?
For sure, I couldn’t believe the crowd that was there. I’ve heard some people say that the crowd wasn’t that good, but I don’t know where they were looking.
Yarrive [Konsky] is doing an awesome job with the events by having things like the two-seater rides with celebrities and the two best stunt riders in Australia – it’s just starting to turn into a really good show for the fans.
I know there are a lot of people coming to the Mallala round from where I live at Mildura, and I know that a lot of those spectators who were at Eastern Creek couldn’t believe how good the racing was in all of the classes, so hopefully the series can keep on building.
Alright well, we’ll see you in a few weeks at Mallala. Well done again.
Too easy, thanks for that.