News 17 Jul 2023

'I should have just stayed in third' reflects Waters

V4 R rider to regroup from seventh overall at Morgan Park.

Image: Foremost Media.

Former 2023 Mi-Bike Australian Superbike Championship (ASBK) leader Josh Waters lost valuable positions when he ran off the track during race one at Morgan Park, later reflecting that he should have remained in third instead of pushing towards the leaders.

Unlike his closest rivals in the championship Troy Herfoss (Penrite Honda Racing) and Mike Jones (Yamaha Racing Team), Waters didn’t have the opportunity to test at the Warwick-based circuit in the build-up to the round.

2019 marked the last time that the number 21 had competed at Morgan Park, and he concluded Friday’s practice in fourth with a 1m12.979s before improving to a 1m12.521s in qualifying two to line up P4 for Sunday’s races.

Waters slotted into P3 in the opening bout, breaking away with Herfoss and Jones from the riders behind. On lap 11 the V4 R rider was just over one second from the lead, with a moment in through the first sector causing him to run off the track at the entry of turn two.

He later rejoined in P9 where he took the chequered flag, before completing the second race in fifth to finish the round seventh overall.

“Going into the event, I knew it was going to be hard because of the amount of riding the guys I was competing against for the championship did in lockdown [at Morgan Park] and all of that stuff, I knew that they were going to be good there.

“Unfortunately didn’t get to test. Now that I look back on it, we did a bloody good job on Friday and we did a really good job on Saturday. I’m kicking myself for race one – it was just because I was there and I didn’t want to let them go. Now I look back at it and think I should have just stayed in third.

“I had a big moment, obviously I wouldn’t have run off if I could have stayed on. Got in the gravel, had to pull the bike out, had to get off the bike, pull it out and take back off.

“Then I was just in an awkward spot, almost crashed it a couple of laps in and had a really big moment. I’m sure if we went back there next week it would be better, but it’s done and got a big break now, reset and go again.

Waters lost the ASBK points lead after race one, and trails title-rival Herfoss by 14 points ahead of round six at Phillip Island between 27-29 October. The Victorian was dominant at the iconic circuit earlier this year and will be equipped with the 2023 V4 R as the series makes its return.

“That’s been one of the good things, even the rounds that I have struggled, I have been able to be fast,” Waters added. “So that’s a good thing, it just hasn’t all clicked. Maybe I need to ride a bit more, I ride bugger all. That might help. It’s winter now and easy saying that [laughs]. Things cost money. Go again, but I really look forward to riding the 2023 model V4 R at Phillip Island.”

In the ASBK break, Waters will head back to Japan to compete in the Suzuka 8 Hours, the event taking place on 4-6 August and he will line up as part of the S-Pulse Dream Racing team onboard a Suzuki.