Team Suzuki’s Josh Waters returned to national Superbike competition during last weekend’s MotoGP support races at the Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix, stunning with a race victory and fourth overall.
The 23-year-old defending ASBK champion returned and immediately made an impact at Phillip Island, happy to be back after a head injury suffered in the U.S. last July ruled him out of his ABSK title defence.
“It’s great to be back on the bike after such a long break, and racing with these guys again,” the Victorian said. “It has been frustrating not being able to ride for so long, but everyone has been so supportive while the injury has healed – Team Suzuki, Simon at Racesafe, the medical guys.
“Winning race two was a great feeling as I haven’t done a lot of races with the Superbike in the wet. I was pretty pumped on that cool down lap, that’s for sure. After missing two rounds the ASBK championship is gone for 2010, but I’m looking forward to finishing off the season on a high at Symmons Plains next month.”
Team Suzuki manager Phil Tainton was happy to have the team’s champion back aboard the GSX-R1000.
“It’s been a challenging weekend for all with the changeable weather conditions, but I’m extremely happy with Josh results in his return to the track,” Tainton said. “Josh showed that he’s lost none of his competitiveness after a three-month lay-off.
“We took the safe option for Josh in race one and played it conservative by opting for wet weather tyres, but in hindsight it turned out to be the wrong decision.”
While Waters returned, teammate and three-time champion Shawn Giles suffered a fractured collarbone and will undergo medical checks this week to see if he’ll be fit for next month’s ASBK season finale in Tasmania.
“The injury to Shawn is unfortunate, as he was right back on form and in the top three or four on practice times,” Tainton said. “If the track catches out the most experienced rider in the field, then it shows you just how challenging the conditions were.”