Josh Waters earned his second Australian Superbike title in the final round of competition at Queensland Raceway.
Team Suzuki’s Josh Waters claimed his second Australian Superbike Championship aboard the GSX-R1000 at Queensland Raceway’s final round of the 2012 season at the weekend.
Waters played it safe on his way to this year’s crown, finishing fifth overall for the weekend with 4-6 results, adding the trophy to his maiden championship picked up in 2009 as a rookie in the premier class with Team Suzuki.
This year marked Waters’ first full season completed since his inaugural title, capping off what has been a hard-fought campaign to win the championship by a slim margin of 13.5-points.
“It’s an awesome feeling and the result that everybody was aiming for at the start of the season,” 25-year-old Waters said. “It’s really nice to get it done, so a big thanks to the team and everybody who has made this possible.
“In the last couple of rounds I haven’t put it all on the line, just conserving my lead and playing it smart because the championship is what they remember in the record books.
“My Team Suzuki GSX-R1000 has been great all season, it’s my fourth year on the bike and I’m obviously used to it and am very comfortable on it. The team has done a great job, so it’s great to go ahead and win the championship for everybody this season.”
Josh Waters earned his first Australian Superbike title in 2009, his maiden year in the premier class.
Team mate Ben Attard was in form throughout the weekend in his final home round of the season, the Queenslander satisfied with his performance to finish fourth overall. Attard was fifth in the opening 17-lap race, before third in the second outing sealed him fifth in the standings during his debut season as part of Team Suzuki.
“It was definitely good to finish the series on the podium in race two on Sunday, because we started the year on the box as well,” Attard explained. “It was obviously a long time in between those results, but it’s nice to finish the championship on a high and I came close to the lap record. The bike was awesome, so thank you to Team Suzuki.”
Team Volvo Group Suzuki’s four-time New Zealand Superbike Champion Robbie Bugden suffered a frustrating finish to the season, however a sixth place overall with 6-5 race results netted the experienced Queenslander sixth in the championship.
“It was a pretty tough weekend, to be honest,” Bugden reflected. “We had some troubles with the number one bike on Saturday and had to miss the second qualifying session. It just set us back a session and we never really did recover from that. We’ll put it behind us and look forward to the next events coming up.”
Brodie Waters clinched third in the Supersport championship for Team Suzuki aboard the team’s lone GSX-R600, but came ever so close to regaining the title for the team. Waters claimed Superpole and entered race day with a half-point lead before a mechanical gremlin in the opening race ultimately ruled him out of contention.
Waters bounced back to second in the final race of the season and earned the final podium position in the series, remaining upbeat with his performances during the second half of 2012 despite the unfortunate turn of events on Sunday.
“We got progressively stronger as the year went on and the last few rounds were really good,” Waters said. “Coming into the last round we were in a good position to take the title, and after qualifying we felt like we had good speed in Queensland.
“It was great to get pole, then during the first race I felt like we had the pace to win. Unfortunately with three laps to go we had a mechanical, forcing me out of the race while I was running closely behind the leader in second. In race two I wasn’t quite as comfortable on the spare bike, but second was a decent result.
“Now I’ll head over to England tomorrow for a month to do the last three rounds of British Supersport Championship. I would like to show some of the speed that I’ve had in Australia lately and try to run up front, but if I can get top-10 finishes I’ll be happy.”
Team Suzuki manager Phil Tainton is ecstatic with the team’s combined efforts throughout the year, proud the regain the nation’s premier road racing title for the first time since 2009 with Waters.
“I’m really happy with the weekend and the championship,” Tainton said. “I couldn’t be happier with taking out the championship. Josh knew what he had to do, although he was a little bit nervous going in. He played it extremely conservative and that’s all that he had to do after a brilliant season.
“Brodie came so close to the Supersport title, climbing back in the latter stages of the year. I’m extremely happy with the way Brodie has been performing in these recent rounds. Ben came within a thousandth of a second of the lap record in race two, got back on the podium for the race, and it’s nice to see him comfortable on the bike. Robbie had dramas of his own during the weekend, but apart from that he showed how well he is riding once again in 2012. It’s been a great season for all of our riders.”
Team Suzuki will now turn its attention to the non-championship MotoGP support races at Phillip Island in Victoria on October 26-28th. The team’s final event will take place at the Australian Endurance Championship, also at Phillip Island, on December 1-2nd as it defends its title.