News 25 Nov 2016

Waters and Clout complete 2017 Crankt Protein Honda line-up

Crankt Protein Honda Racing confirms new-look line-up at Moto Expo.

Image: Alex Gobert (Foremost Media).

Image: Alex Gobert (Foremost Media).

Crankt Protein Honda Racing has announced its new-look line-up for the 2017 season today at the Moto Expo in Melbourne.

The Victorian-based outfit and Honda Motorcycles Australia unveiled the all-new 2017 CRF450R at the event, which will be piloted by seasoned MX1 rider Todd Waters and premier class rookie Luke Clout.

The signing comes just a day after Wilson Coolair Motul Suzuki revealed it’s line-up for next year, indicating Waters wouldn’t be returning for another season and strengthening his link to racing a factory Honda in 2017.

The popular Queenslander will enter the 2017 championships as a serious title threat, coming off a strong finish in the Motul MX Nationals series while injuries in supercross denied him the chance to display his potential.

“The brand new bike is looking good, [Ken] Roczen raced it at the Monster Cup and showed that it’s working well, so I’m excited,” Waters told “We’ve got a good group of people helping us to get it to the place it needs to be. [We’re] starting with Jay Foreman, he knows the inside and out of a bike, and Paul Free, he’s run a successful road racing team – he’s running our team – so we’ve got a good bunch of people.

“Luke Clout is a young kid that’s full of energy, it’s going to be fun to go testing [with him] and get that young vibe within the team. I think the package is good, it’s going to be an exciting year, and yeah, I can’t wait to sit my bum on one of those bikes and get testing.

“We’ve got some work to do, I know that – I’ve got a lot of work to do on myself as well. I let the ball slip a little this year – I had too many mistakes – I’ve got a lot of homework to do. This break is important for me.”

Image: Alex Gobert (Foremost Media).

Image: Alex Gobert (Foremost Media).

Clout, who was initially signed to race in America with the now defunct MAD Racing Yoshimura Suzuki team in 2017, will race aboard a 450cc for the first time in his professional career.

The New South Welshman, a former Australian MX2 champion, raced in the prestigious Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship this year before taking on a last-minute guest ride with Honda Genuine Racing in the Australian Supercross Championship. An injury in his second appearance saw his season come to a premature end.

“Obviously everything didn’t work out in America, and it’s unfortunate,” Clout shared with “I feel like everything does happen for a reason, and to have a 450 opportunity, especially with the program that it is right now – it’s a pretty solid program – I’m definitely happy and I’m definitely excited.

“It made it a pretty easy decision for me, obviously with Toddy [Waters] going over to Honda and the new bike, and Jay Foreman being there – it’s a really solid program and I’m pumped to be apart of it. I want to go in there and I want to be doing really well, I don’t want to be going there being behind the eight-ball – I want to go in there ready to go and ready to fight.

“I’m not going to say I’m going to win, because I don’t believe I can do that straightaway. I want to be there fighting in the top five, and by the end of it I want to be winning rounds and winning races. I believe in myself and I believe in the team – I think we can do that.”

It’s yet to be determined where outgoing Crankt Protein Honda Racing riders Jay Wilson and Dylan Long will slot in for next year, however Long has been linked to CDR Yamaha, which was revealed in our silly season article published last week.