Features 18 Mar 2015

The Euro Report

MotoOnline.com.au with the latest from Europe's MXGP scene.

It’s been a long road to this point in Todd Waters’ MXGP career, starting out 2014 strongly before injuries struck in the mid-stages of the season. Back for a second year with Red Bull IceOne Racing Husqvarna, Waters is on the brink of real success in Europe.

The Aussie is a down to earth kid from North Queensland looking to become world champion. Holding down ninth place in the MXGP points standings, you can be sure that Waters is looking at climbing a little closer to the top five in 2015.

Leading European website MXlarge sent us this chat with with Waters after his eighth place finish in the Grand Prix of Thailand; a performance that impressed around the very technical and supercross-styled circuit.

Source: IceOne Racing.

Source: IceOne Racing.

Todd, you had a lot of time off the bike before the press season, but you looked pretty good in Thailand. Are you happy with how it’s going?

Listen, I am stoked we had a better weekend in Thailand than in Qatar. That is our plan to build and improve and be in that top ten. I am not so stoked about my started, we are always coming from outside the 15th position and it makes things difficult. I need to qualify better and run up front with the top guys and learn from them. We will just work hard. I need to than the team, my mechanic Ryan and team manager Antti they are working so hard for me.

You really don’t have that much experience in the GPs despite often being a top 10 guy since arriving last year.

Thailand was only my sixth grand prix, so I don’t have the experience and I want to get the races under my belt and keep moving forward. I want to be up further, I believe I belong up further, but the GP field is tough, it’s difficult in the MXGP class, it’s so deep and I just don’t have the speed at the moment and I need to work on that. The front guys are so strong and I am new at the GP scene and I am learning fast and we are working hard.

How did you like the track in Thailand?

It was a cool track, bit of a supercross-styled track. I struggled with it and we were in Europe riding different types of tracks and your ass hanging off the back of the bike in sand tracks. I mean for practice it has been Lommel and places like that and not big jumps. Have to admire the European guys because they know how to jump considering the little practice they get on those big jumps. Dean [Ferris] and I come from a supercross background, but I struggled with the jumps in Thailand.

Source: IceOne Racing.

Source: IceOne Racing.

You had a really bad injury from a crash that wasn’t your fault last year. How tough is it to come back from something like that?

It is difficult, because the crash we had I just came over a jump and there were four bikes on the ground and I just smashed into them. It was my first season and I was taking it steady in the GPs, backing off sometimes to be careful, and then for that to happen just bummed me out. I didn’t want to get injured and I was getting seventh and sixth place finishes in the GPs and feeling really good. Obviously the injury was a bad one and I had a lot of time off, I was gutted about that. I need to put that behind me, I mean I race a bike and stuff happens.

We have Ryan Villopoto racing the GPs this year and he is a legend of the sport. How do you see him racing the GPs? Is it pretty cool for a guy like you to be racing somebody like him?

Look, for me I don’t care. I take people for who they are, they can ride a bike, but are they a good person. I mean I am an Aussie I am like that. I don’t care if you can ride a bike or sing well, if you are a wanker off the track I don’t want anything to do with you. I haven’t met Ryan, but he seems like a good guy, but in the past I have met riders who were my heroes and I met them and realised they were not nice people. That is what I like about Antonio Cairoli, he is so level-headed, but it’s like that with all the top 10 guys in the GPs – you can go and have a chat with them and they don’t think they are the best. I really enjoy the people in Europe.