News 27 Mar 2010

Oz MX: Cougar Bourbon Honda Thor ready for Nationals

Todd Waters in testing for Woodstock Honda Thor Racing.

Todd Waters in testing for Woodstock Honda Thor Racing.

Cougar Bourbon Honda Thor Racing Team riders Todd Waters and Michael Phillips have predicted pre-season training will be the key to success at the opening round of the 2010 MX Nationals, set to be contested at Victoria’s Dooen Motocross track this weekend.

Three 20-minute motos on the 1.7km clay-based circuit will be a tough test of endurance, but one the pairing is confident of conquering.

Phillips, the reigning New Zealand MX2 champion, is a new recruit for the Honda outfit, scoring his first Australian factory ride this season.

The globetrotting talent has spent the past two years competing in the British and New Zealand Motocross championships. Despite missing two rounds of the British series he was able to finish in a credible fourteenth place.

Phillips’ pre-season preparation has revolved around cycling and long distance running, as well as three warm-up events in his native NZ where he finish in the top three in each race.

He has spent the past month in Australia settling in to life with the Cougar Bourbon Honda Thor Racing Team and testing his new CRF250R.

Excited but slightly nervous about his factory debut, Phillips said he was looking for a solid start to the season.

“I haven’t raced here (in Australia) for two years so I must admit I am a little bit nervous but also excited. I can’t wait to get the first event under my belt,” said Phillips.

“The team have been fantastic in helping me get used to the bike, we have done a lot of testing and I feel like everything is really starting to gel.

“There are 25 races so the series can’t be won at the first round, my aim is to make a solid start and ensure I am in the top five at the end of the day,” he continued.

Todd Waters is in his second year with the team. He won the opening round of the MX Nationals open class last year before being sidelined by an injury for a 14 week period.

He returned to competition for the second round of Super X and was a regular top ten finisher throughout the series.

“I am much better prepared for the start of this season than I have ever been before,” Waters admitted. “I really feel that this year we are starting off with a good base.

“The entire Cougar Bourbon Honda Thor Racing Team has worked tirelessly to ensure that not only the bikes are ready, but also both Michael and I are fully fit and prepared for the opening round.

“I am so excited about this weekend. The new CRF450R is fantastic and I know it is going to be a tough series with the calibre of riders in the Open class, but I can’t wait to get out there and see how I stack up,” Waters said.

Honda’s General Manager of Motorcycles Tony Hinton said the leading motorcycle manufacturer was excited about the 2010 season getting underway.

“The Cougar Bourbon Honda Thor Team as well as the field of Honda riders we are supporting this weekend have had a tremendous pre-season,” Hinton said.

“Our results both in Australia as well as in America with the all new CRF 250R and CRF 450R have been fantastic. Both Davi Millsap’s and Justin Barcia have proven both models are capable of winning in the current American Supercross Championship.

“ I would like to wish all Honda riders the best for this coming weekend and am looking forward to some great results throughout the year,” Hinton concluded.

The opening round of the MX Nationals will be held on Sunday 28th March at Horsham’s Dooen Motocross Track. Both the Lites and Open classes will contest three 20 minute motos on the 1.7km clay based circuit.