News 16 May 2018

Waters admits ASBK rivals ‘stronger’ than one year ago

Increased challenge in title defence for reigning champion.

Image: Marc Jones (Foremost Media).

Team Suzuki Ecstar’s Josh Waters has confessed his competition has gained strength in 2018 as he vies for a fourth-career Yamaha Motor Finance Australian Superbike Championship (ASBK) crown.

Waters currently trails points leader Troy Herfoss (Penrite Honda Racing) by 42 points following three rounds, which is in fact closer than the 54-point deficit he faced heading into Hidden Valley last year.

“During the 2017 season Suzuki raised the bar and everyone has had to step up,” Waters explained. “Now my rivals are even stronger this year, we have to put our heads down and our bums up to trying to turn the situation around. I’m a long way behind now, but I was further back last year and we managed to win. I’m not going to give up!

“Winning four championships would be awesome, as no one has ever achieved this in ASBK. We can’t lose focus however, last year we took a race by race approach and that ended up working well. For sure winning the title this year would be extremely special if we can pull it off. I will give it my all!” Waters finished.

If there is anywhere Waters will be able to turn his season around, Darwin is the ideal location after dominating the round on multiple occasions during his career, including the ride that sparked his title surge in 2017. It’s a happy hunting ground for the triple champion, but he knows it will be an added challenge in the Northern Territory for round four between 28 June-1 July.

“I love that circuit and I’m looking forward to riding the Suzuki in the heat of Darwin,” added the 31-year-old. “I can’t go there thinking we dominated last year and it’s going to be a similar outcome – everyone is going to be stronger. Fortunately, I love this circuit.

“In some ways, I think the heat plays to my advantage, coming from Mildura. The vibe and atmosphere at Darwin is great, almost like we are going out on a holiday. The locals really get behind ASBK there and I’m looking forward to it as always.”