Motorsport News - Bike
Josh Waters talks about last weekend's Suzuka 8 Hour race
6th August 2012
Suzuki's Australian Superbike rider Josh Waters talks about his experiences at last weekend's Suzuka 8-Hour race where he joined Leon Camier and Nobuatsu Aoki in the Yoshimura Suzuki squad, plus his hopes of lifting the Australian Superbike and Endurance Championships.
I'm back home in Australia now after just competing in the famous Suzuka 8-Hour World Endurance event in Japan. Earlier this year I received a call from Fujio Yoshimura, the president of Yoshimura and he asked if I was interested in racing in the event again this year. I said YES straight away and as I have said 1000 times, I was taken aback after seeing how many great Suzuki riders he had to choose from worldwide for that race in National championships.
He told me that my team mates would be Leon Camier, who I know is a great rider after watching him in WSBK and is doing a great job this year. He then told me the other rider on the team would be Nobu Aoki, who I have become good mates with! I knew we would be strong this year and we would have a good chance of challenging for the win.
The start of July I jumped on the plane to Japan and was lucky enough to get a few days of testing in. The tests went great, the team had done an awesome job with the GSX-R1000 and I was able to ride a lot faster than I did the year before. Between the two tests the team had planned for me to stay with the Aoki family. We trained every day; it was a great week I spent with the family and friends. After the second test I had to come home and sort out my visa application for the race event.
I returned on the Monday of race week to try to get used to the weather as in Australia we are in the middle of winter at the moment and in Japan it is the hottest part of the year. At the test the weather was nice and the team said that come race day it would be much hotter. They were right!
It all kicked off Thursday afternoon with two sessions, with our team only allowed to send one bike out on the circuit at once. At the end of the two sessions we were second fastest overall which was a good way to start the weekend!
Friday was qualifying and our aim was to be in the Top 10 for the following days Top-10 Shootout. Both Nobu and Leon did a great job and they were always in the top three in these sessions. I was nominated by the team to be in group three and I had a really good first session being fastest out of the group. In the second session I tried hard, most of the track was clear; and I was able to go fastest to put us on provisional pole position - which was awesome!
Saturday's top 10 shoot out started late in the day so we got a sleep-in which was good. For the top 10-Shootout, teams have to nominate two riders; both riders get a lap on their own to try to go as fast as they can! Our team picked Leon and me. We rode last because we were the fastest from the day before. I was so nervous just before my pole record was smashed! I tried my hardest; it was my best ever lap, 2.2 seconds quicker than I did last year, but not enough for pole, but we came third which the team were still very happy with.
On race day I rode the first stint; which would be the fastest stint because we got the clear track for the first 10 or so laps. It was really hot but I felt fine and the start of the race, I led for the first seven laps which was awesome! I was then in the battle for the lead and at the end of the first hour when I came in to pit we were second, about 3 seconds off the lead. I was to do the third stint so I had an hour to rest. At the end of second hour we were in third place, but that's when our bad luck started.
We had to do a stop and go penalty, but after that we were still in the top three. Nobu jumped on the bike and we had a problem that he had to pit with. We lost eight laps but got back into it and with an hour to go of the race, we came back from 29th to 11th and I think we would have had a chance to finish top-10 for sure because a lot of the time we were as quick as the fastest team on track - or we were the fastest team. Just before we pitted for the final stop, we had another problem which meant that we were out of the race for good. That's racing! The team did an awesome job and my team mates were both awesome through testing and the race!
I'm now getting ready for the final two rounds of the Australian Superbike Championship, I'm lucky to be leading the Championship so I'll keep trying hard. And with the 2012 Australian Endurance Championship coming up at Phillip Island in early December, I can now take everything I have learnt from the Suzuka 8 Hour and defend the title, so I hope to report back later this year and fill you in on some good news!
11th May 2013
29th April 2013
17th April 2013
19th March 2013
7th February 2013
6th January 2013more client news...
Search all Racecar clients