Features 26 Oct 2022

Five Questions: Josh Waters

Three-time ASBK champion on resurgence and Ducati opportunity.

Freshly-minted Boost Mobile with K-Tech Ducati rider Josh Waters made a sensational debut with the team at the Australian MotoGP support races, taking three from three race wins and a new national Superbike race lap record at Phillip Island. Following his commanding performance, the three-time Mi-Bike Australian Superbike (ASBK) champion was offered an opportunity to continue on the V4 R for the remaining races in the 2022 season, and CycleOnline spoke with the Victorian to ask Five Questions regarding the Phillip Island achievement, the new team dynamic and the motivations behind the move.

Image: Russell Colvin.

Did your results at the MotoGP support races surprise you?

After the test, I thought I would be competitive, but you don’t know. Wayne [Maxwell] wasn’t there, but still first, third, fourth and fifth in the [ASBK] championship were competing, so it wasn’t going to be an easy weekend. I just wanted to be competitive, and like I said after that test, I thought that I wouldn’t make a fool of myself, and went from there. Like I got told and it kind of makes sense, it was a big risk to ride the bike because it has been so successful at that circuit. It’s a very different bike to ride, but for sure it was a big risk. If I wasn’t competitive, it wouldn’t have looked very good.

When were you informed that you would have the opportunity to compete in the remaining ASBK rounds? 

There was a little bit of talk… there wasn’t really because it was to just do that event. They needed someone to ride that event [MotoGP support races] and then I guess on the Saturday after, it was when we were packing up, Craig [McMartin] was like ‘we should probably see if you can race it at the final rounds if you would like to’. I’ve got one bike, and I will be garaged next to Wayne.

Has your role within the team been discussed, with Wayne being in the championship hunt? 

That’s where people forget, Wayne is extremely… these two tracks that we are going to [Phillip Island and The Bend], are two that he has dominated at. Fair enough if he didn’t, but both are tracks that he has dominated at.

Image: Russell Colvin.

Is there a long-term plan for you to stay with Boost Mobile with K-Tech Ducati?

I want to try and be successful and hopefully, it works out, but they’ve got a lot of stuff to organise, budgets, all of those sorts of things. I’ll try to be on a good bike, and I seem to have clicked with the Ducati in my short time, so I’ll guess the more I ride it, the better I will get. Being a racer, of course, you are going to say I think I could do this, but I hope that I can keep getting better and better. That’s the good thing, the short amount of time that I have had on it, and to click straight away. Being a racer and stuff like that, it becomes more natural and hopefully go faster.

Why did you step away from the NextGen Motorsports team?

I’d left the NextGen BMW team earlier in the year simply because I’d lost the enjoyment in racing. There was no fallout with anyone and nobody to blame – they worked as hard as any team in the paddock. The BMW was capable of running right at the front if absolutely everything went perfectly, but I didn’t feel a win was within reach. It was a tough decision, but I believe it was the right one.