Reigning YMI Superbike Champion, Josh Waters (Team Suzuki ECSTAR, GSX-R1000R) will return to Hidden Valley Raceway (NT) where he dominated last year in stellar fashion. Now the Suzuki rider will aim to replicate that success when the Yamaha Motor Finance Australian Superbike Championship presented by Motul Pirelli (ASBK) returns to Darwin for Round 4 (June 28 – July 1).
As it stands, Waters sits fourth in the standings, a considerable 42 points off Troy Herfoss (Penrite Honda, CBR1000SP). The champ also has yet to claim a victory in 2018, despite finishing on the podium consistently. A mechanical retirement didn’t help the situation either back at The Bend Motorsport Park (SA). The pressure is now on to make sure he gets back on that top step.
“In some ways, we could count ourselves unlucky at times. We’ve always been up towards the front, but we haven’t managed to get a win yet,” According to Waters.
“The season started off well with Pole Position at Phillip Island and three podiums. Wakefield Park is always a difficult track for me, but I was happy because I was so much more competitive there compared to last year. Tailem Bend ended up being a difficult weekend because we were trying new parts to try and improve the package. We also DNF’d while we were running in P2 with a mechanical failure. In the final race, I was almost catching the lead group, but had a near crash and ran off the track. After an up and down weekend in South Australia, we need to turn it around and fight back,” Waters said.
The competition has stepped up a gear according to Waters; “During the 2017 season, Suzuki raised the bar and everyone has had to step up. 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!”
Luckily ASBK will return to the ‘Top End’ in Darwin where Waters has enjoyed enormous success in the past. “I love that circuit and I’m looking forward to riding the Suzuki in the heat of Darwin. 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! It’s 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.”
When asked if four ASBK titles plays on his mind, he admitted it’s a driving force behind for this year. “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.
Make sure to attend Round 4 Hidden Valley Raceway, when the championship heats up under the Darwin sun to see if Waters can take out the overall victory!
YMI Superbike Standings
|Rnd 1||Rnd 2||Rnd 3||Rnd 3||Rnd 3||Rnd 3|
|Pos||No||Name||Machine||WSBK||W/fld||Pole||Race 1||Race 2||Race 3||Total|
2018 ASBK Calendar
Round 4- Hidden Valley Raceway, Darwin NT June 28 – 1 July
Round 5- Morgan Park Raceway, Warwick QLD August 17 – 19
Round 6- Winton Motor Raceway, Benalla, VIC September 7 – 9
Round 7- Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit, VIC October 12 – 14