|Photo: Crescent Suzuki|
PaddockChatter recently had the chance to have a quick chat with Josh Waters, who has signed to ride for Shaun Muir’s Milwaukee Yamaha (formerly Swan Yamaha) in BSB for 2013 alongside James Ellison. Waters is the current and 2009 Australian Superbike championship and has racked up a series of impressive endurance results in the 6 years he rode for Suzuki. Here you can read what Josh has to say about switching to Yamaha and moving to the other side of the world.
What were the motivations behind your decision to race in Britain for 2013?
I wanted to race outside of Australia and I think the British Championship is the most recognized domestic Superbike Championship in the world and has an extremely tough grid. I think this is the right step to take in my career.
How do you feel about moving to the other side of the world?
To move to the other side of the world is a big thing, but it’s something that I have always dreamt of doing so I feel I’m ready. For sure its going to be different, where I live is very very hot and always sunny. I know where I’m going isn’t like that, but I think I’ll be fine!
You’ve signed for a very competent BSB team with Shaun Muir & Milwaukee Yamaha, does this add to the pressure knowing the team are proven champions or make it easier?
To move into a team like I have is what every rider coming from the outside wants to do. For sure there is going to be pressure because Milwaukee Yamaha is one of the leading teams in the BSB, but Shaun and the team have been very good about what they expect from myself. I have a lot high expectations on myself than the team do. I hope like when I have raced at the Suzuka 8 hour, being with a leading team helped myself to be strong. Also I have a very good Crew Chief and crew, Pete Jennings has a very good record and I think this will help me also.
You aren’t the first Aussie to up ship and move to Britain to race, Josh Brookes is a notable example who has come close to taking the title on several occasions. Do you know Josh well?
The BSB has had a lot of very good Australians come and race in the Championship. It still has a lot of very good Aussie racing there. My racing idol Troy Bayliss raced there. I know Josh, he’s always nice to me. We raced last weekend at the Troy Bayliss Classic and the night before he helped me work on my bike at 10.30 at night in the Motel car park. The next day we had some fun rubbing into each other. He is one of the favourites for the championship and I don’t expect him to help. He had to do it the hard way, I’ll use my team and team mate to bounce ideas for help.
Your team mate, James Ellison has a long history of success in BSB, once a runner up and is obviously very eager to get his hands on the title – we at PaddockChatter believe you are a genuine title contender too – how do you think a team in which there are 2 riders both with potential of claiming the title will work?
James is a very nice person. I’m easy going, I don’t think we will have a problem. I need to worry about my own things, like learning the circuits! I think James will going into the championship as one of the favourites. I’m just going to try my hardest and hopefully be up there come the end of the year.
Not only are you changing scenery for 2013, you are also changing manufacturer after a long relationship with Suzuki – how will this affect your 2013 campaign?
For the last 6 years I have raced a Suzuki. I have never ridden an R1, I’ll have to wait until Mid March. I really look forward to riding/racing the Yamaha R1.
You aren’t a stranger to World Championship racing, you’ve raced rounds with Yoshimura Suzuki and recently tested the Crescent Suzuki – it’s clear that any rider’s aim is to get into world championship racing however what do you think of the future of WSB given Dorna’s intended interventions?
I really haven’t looked into that too much. From back home in Australia to get a world superbike ride is almost impossible, that’s why I hope my move to BSB will help me live my dream. One thing that I have heard that I think is good for next year is the bikes are going back to much for standard motorcycle, just like Australia Superbike rules. That’s awesome for people wanting too wildcard and hopefully go well at your home round, but i think every rider wants to ride a tricker bike, like the way the rules are now. It’s a hard one! I think it might change after a year or so.
Which British track are you most looking forward to riding and which, if any are you not looking forward to? How do the British tracks compare to the tracks you are used to riding in Australia?
I really don’t know because I haven’t ridden on any of the BSB circuits. I hope I like them all, but a couple don’t look too easy!
Your brothers, Brodie & Nick both race as well, what’s it like being in a racing family? Massively competitive, supportive etc?
Yea having my brothers racing has been great. Of course we are competitive. When it comes to training we always pushed each other. Also they have always told the truth, so if you weren’t having a go either of them would let me know! It keeps you really grounded.
In your opinion, how effective is the Australian system of developing racers? Is there a lot of support for young road racing?
Racing in Australia at the minute is very tough. We have two series and our racing community just isn’t big enough. We have lot’s of good young riders, its just tough because back home the ASBK is not like the BSB. The coverage just isn’t there and its very hard to sell it to sponsors. It is expensive and makes it very hard for juniors coming through. The following just isn’t there.
Huge thanks to Josh for this interview, you can keep track of what he’s up to on Twitter: @JoshWaters21