News 10 Feb 2017

Roll-off usage in NZ part of Waters' MX Nationals preparation

Queenslander transitioning fulltime following MA tear-off ban.

Source: Supplied.

Crankt Protein Honda Racing’s Todd Waters is taking advantage of the 2017 New Zealand Motocross Championship to adjust to Motorcycling Australia’s (MA) tear-off ban that has come into effect for this year.

In the lead-up to the Motul MX Nationals locally, Waters has committed to wearing roll-off vision systems in NZ, despite the more conventional tear-offs still being legal across the Tasman.

According to Waters, there are multiple aspects to be aware of when it comes to roll-offs and with added experience of sporting the systems in the MXGP series, the Queenslander will be one of the most knowledgeable on the MX1 gate when it comes to vision.

“We’re wearing them over there because if any problems happen while we’re racing, we can try and fix that before the nationals,” Waters told “Also it’s a massive thing for vision, when I first went to Europe there were a lot of places that we wore roll-offs because of the conditions and you struggle with the vision.

“As soon as you start to get roosted you’ve only got this little film that you can see through, so you tend to want to hold your head up trying to see – it feels like tunnel vision. So that’s something I had to practice a fair bit just to get used to that alone.”

A more complex product compared to the traditional tear-off system, Waters stresses the importance of correct roll-off preparation and believes is is the key to successful results with the systems.

“Something people will struggle with here in Australia is that the preparation with roll-offs is massive,” he explained. “You don’t want the side popping off and the film following you around the track, then you’ll have bad vision for the rest of the race. Not only is it a change from tear-offs to roll-offs, but it’s a much bigger job to prepare them. If you take your time and you prepare yourself properly, that’s also going to win or lose races for you.

“I have seen a few of the guys using them in mud races here, but they’ve been hanging around their arm because they’ve had a problem with them. That’s exactly what I’m talking about, you need to be smart when preparing them and test them, just like we’re doing in New Zealand. It’s one thing to practice with them, but to be getting roosted and finding out dirt goes under the film and all of these little things, that’s pretty much what we’re up to over there.”

Realising the importance of a high-quality roll-off system, the MX1 front-runner has aligned himself with highly-regarded goggle manufacturer Oakley in a new deal for the 2017 season.

“Everyone’s pretty much got tear-offs dialled, so you can get away with that, but there’s only a few companies with a good roll-off system and Oakley are one of the leading brands,” he added. “I’ve made the switch to those guys for 2017 and they’re a great partner to be associated with. They’re a top brand, so I’m pretty stoked to be on-board with those guys this year.”