Features 29 Feb 2024

Industry: Raceline Husqvarna Racing Team’s Todd Waters

The driving force behind factory-backed effort ahead of 2024 season.

Continuing to push forward in his unusual position of owning and racing for the Raceline Husqvarna Racing Team, Todd Waters has high hopes for the 2024 season. MotoOnline caught up with the 34-year-old at his team launch on the Gold Coast to get the lowdown on how everything’s coming together as we approach the opening round of the Penrite ProMX Championship at Wonthaggi.

Image: Supplied.

Todd Waters, we’re three weeks out from the start of the ProMX championship. It’s the second year for you with this team – what’s changed?

Yeah, three weeks out from the opening round. This is our second year running the factory-backed Husqvarna Racing Team. I can tell you what’s changed, I don’t have a newborn and I’m not living in Cairns [laughs], so this year is completely different. [Last year] I was organising things, getting stuff shipped from China, then all of a sudden I was trying to come back from a shoulder injury and I was on the start line at the first round. This year is completely different. My pre-season started in November, we’ve gotten in massive base training, into training on the bike with the boys and testing and developing the bike. That’s what has been key for me this year, I’m feeling more confident than ever, and I feel like myself again. Motocross is my primary focus for 2024. I’ve got a fair bit of stuff on, but I’m putting it all aside and I’m making sure I’m going to be there race in, race out. I want to be a race-winning guy.

Something we’ve heard you say a few times lately is, ‘back to basics’. What does that mean?

For me, it’s focusing on riding my dirt bike. Going to the track and just enjoying what I do. I absolutely love riding my dirt bike, that’s why I do this and why I created this program and work with the riders. I get so much joy out of going to the track and seeing Jack [Mather] and Rhys [Budd] and being able to help then and work closely with them to develop their bikes. It’s been cool. As a rider you kind of progress and you don’t stick to your own lane, but when you step back and talk with these younger riders – and they’re bad-arse dudes on a dirt bike – and you go, ‘Man, how do you turn this thing, it’s like a chopper’. Then Rhys comes back on my bike and thinks it’s like a pillow, but my bike is stiffer than his…

Image: Supplied.

I think that’s a major benefit for the riders you have this year. You can be a mentor in so many different ways because of your years of experience on different teams. This year is a big step for your team, bringing on Rhys Budd and obviously Jack Mather continuing to develop. They’re both real contenders in the MX2 class, so how does that feel from a team manager’s point of view?

As a team manager, no one can compete. I don’t need a budget, I don’t need to roll up in a big truck, because I’m out there doing motos with my dudes and helping develop bikes for them. I’m developing those boys to win races and take my position. No other team can provide that here in Australia.

If there was one message that you’d like to give to all of those race teams that we have here in Australia, what is it?

One message… It might not happen now, but we’re coming. We’re working hard, I’m developing a team where I need to provide a winning program for the riders. It might not happen straight away, but we’re doing it. It’s only our second year, we’re building superstars.