Josh Waters on destination here after budget issues sidelined the team
Josh Waters, 34, has won three Australian Superbike Championships, but in recent years his quest for a fourth has been somewhat stunted.
Waters have won all of their Australian Superbike Championship crowns on Suzuki machines, with the third in 2017.
After finishing fourth in the 2018 Australian Superbike Championship, still with the Suzuki team, and fifth in 2019, Suzuki then retired at the end of this season. So Josh put together his own team and drove a private Suzuki to fifth place in the championship last year, 2020.
Then this year 2021, Josh joined BCperformance on the ZX-10RR but never seemed comfortable.
Trevor Hedge: Josh, have you ever gotten to a point where you felt comfortable enough to push and get good results? Tenth in the championship is not a true reflection of your driving ability, what do you think is the reason why the results just haven’t arrived this year?
Josh: âUnfortunately no there was one time where I felt halfway good on the bike and it was in Wakefield in Q1, I was ok and everything went really well and then the bike went really well. is sitting in the front no one touched it we went to do it again it was wrong. When it finally left it was not working properly and it was like the electronics were different So Basically every time I rode the bike I felt different which doesn’t build confidenceâ¦ things always happened during races with cuts – the majority – the issues were all electronic issues.
Trev: It must be quite frustrating.
Josh: “Extremely, like I said, it doesn’t build confidence because you don’t know what it’s going to do and you’re going to roll and it’s going to cut and you have the throttle at 50 percent and then it starts all over again. . Yeahâ¦ it was just extremely frustrating. At the end of the day, the bike didn’t stop on me, but it wasn’t the same all the time.
âThe first two race meetings, the bike cut, it stopped in the races, during the practice sessions, they couldn’t tell us why it was doing that. It was really weird because not all bikes did – it wasn’t like the other bike in the pits was good, like Bryan’s bike, but his at least didn’t cut .
“They were all the same parts, it was also a new bike, so a little sad that I couldn’t see the true potential of the bike.”
Trev – And now, with Kawasaki retiring, you seem to be back where you were at the end of 2019 when Suzuki retired, but this time around you can’t even complete the season.
Josh: âYeah, it’s not great, but I guess it is, all I can do is work my butt to shake things up for next year. I have been extremely lucky with sponsors and people who support me, and I know where I can be. I have a lot of people who haven’t given up on me, so I have to go out and with the right opportunities, be where I should be.
Trev – Do you have any potential irons in the fire that would potentially see you rolling at The Bend in December? What about potential races for 2022?
Josh: “It depends, I don’t really plan to do The Bend at this point, because you know like all Victorians we got stuck and even though there were chances to ride a bike. BCperformance is a waste of time. and ride the bike as it is. Because it doesn’t repair itself and parts weren’t available so I stopped the bike for quite a long time. For next year, I just need to see what’s going on, there aren’t many people around, and I’m going to have to try to shake things up.
Trev: Obviously, with your work and family life in Mildura, the option of living in Europe and moving full time to World Endurance is probably a bit out of the question. Although I guess some of your memories of the 8 Hours of Suzuka are a mixture of pleasure and significant pain, due to the strain of racing during the sweaty Japanese summer. However, second place at the Suzuka 8 Hour has to be one of the highlights of your racing career, and you have always had a special affinity with Japan.
Josh: âI really loved Japan, I made some very good friendships there, a great one that we have made with my teammate for many years, Nobuatsu Aoki. This is how we are tight, he spent Christmas here in Mildura, his daughter lived with my parents for a year as an exchange student. So Nobs is pretty popular there so he introduced me to the 8 Hour and stuff like that.
âI say it’s because I’m with a famous guy, for a lot of the fans out there it’s a big deal. Finishing second there twice should be one of my fondest memories of my racing career. How big is the event and how another is racing with world champions and guys that I sit on a Sunday night and Saturday night, watching, thinking they’re so good. Fight them, catch them and pass them. Most of the time it was still very good so great memories that I will never forget.
âOn the grid with Jonny Rea in 2012 and I beat him and I was quick in the first stint, that was a long time ago but those are memories I have. Sit on the grid next to him and give him the green light, then see him go on and dominate the World Superbike for so long. Stuff like that, racing isn’t just about one person, even though Marquez made it look like that and he’s amazing, but it was tough for him with the bike that wasn’t quite right. do theâ¦ “
Trev – Marquez is just head and shoulders above the rest, isn’t he?
Josh: âYeah, he’s amazing, a lot of people don’t like him, but I just think he is – you can’t take anything away from him – he’s amazing. “
Trev – Like Doohan in his prime, right, you can just watch him ride on his own.
Josh “I remember 1998 at Phillip Island it was just amazing, even though the race was boring as shit, even when he was in practice he looked faster than everyone else. “
Trev – The front was fully bent and smoke was coming from his leather knee pads as he held it in his lap, and he kept doing it lap after lap.
Josh: âThey were just special, and Casey was the same at Phillip Island, it was just great to watch. I still remember it was raining heavily and he was six seconds faster than everyone elseâ¦ It was like he was riding on dry land. You can’t be negative to people if you don’t like their personality or whatever when they can ride a motorcycle like that.
Trev: On the other hand, your time in the UK, when success and fun on the track was hard to come by, you became very close to the Mackenzie family, who I think took you under their wing a bit. when you were in the UK. You must be very happy to see Tarran win the championship this year, even though he beat a few of us to the crown.
Josh: âI was thrilled to see Taz win, of course we wanted Taz, he’s not Australian but they are like family to us. They’ve spent a couple of summers here in Mildura, obviously they can’t do it right now, but they’ve been so good to us. They were like family to us, between races this year we were texting Taz he hasn’t changed at all he’s not a little rock star the coverage was great so we sat down and we watched him win the championship and messaged him. Between races, he answered messages. We were really excited to see him win. I know there are the Australians too and it was good to see them all doing well.
Trev: “How old are your children now?” I know your cooking skills are a bit special, what is your specialty and what do the kids prefer? “
Josh: âMy oldest is my daughter, she is five years old and my youngest is 18 months old, he is a little boy. They’re both very active, and maybe the popular meal right now has to be slow-cooked ribs, and kids love that. They like to chew on the bone, even if the meat falls off it. Shit goes everywhere, they like it and you can trick them because they will eat the veg then. It is the most popular of the moment.
Trev: Busy job in the housing industry and profitable despite COVID?
Josh: âI was very lucky there, the work went well here. We have been confined but we can still work, so very lucky. “
Trev: All the best Josh, I hope something happens for you in the near future so you can have another shot at winning that fourth Australian Superbike Championship record.
ASBK Superbike Championship Points Ranking
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