Josh Waters makes a successful return to ASBK


Australian Superbike Championship Team Suzuki rider Josh Waters marked a successful return to the national series with third overall at the final round in Tasmania on the weekend.

The 23-year-old missed the previous two rounds of the series while he recovered from injuries sustained in an accident in early July in the USA when testing for the US Suzuki Superbike team.

Waters, the defending Australian Superbike Champion, qualified on the front row of the grid after posting the third-fastest time in Superpole.

The defending champion finished third in Saturday's 14-lap race, held on a dry track, behind race winner Glenn Allerton and Jamie Stauffer, then backed up with a close second on Sunday's 16-lap wet race behind race winner Wayne Maxwell.

Allerton finished third in Sunday's race to claim the overall round win, with the 2010 Australian Superbike Championship going to Bryan Staring.

"It's great to be back on the bike and be competitive with these guys. Being on the podium in both races was a good result," Waters said.

"I really wanted to win that final race, but Wayne (Maxwell) was just too fast ‰ÛÒ he was riding well.

"Team Suzuki has been so supportive while I've been recovering from the accident. There's been no pressure on me, and I'd like to publicly thank them for everything they've done. It's just so good to be back riding again."

Three-time New Zealand Superbike Champion Robbie Bugden recorded sixth and seventh placings on his Team Suzuki Mack Trucks GSX-R1000 for sixth overall for the round.

Bugden was engaged in an entertaining battle with the Suzuki GSX-R1000 of Scott Charlton in race one, eventually getting the better of Charlton by 0.212sec. In race two Bugden again found himself in a close battle with Charlton, although this time the finishing order was reversed.

"It was a challenging weekend with the weather and with bike set-up, and I guess it was an average result - not too bad, but not brilliant either," Bugden said.

"I got caught in traffic in race one, and in both races I didn't push hard enough in the early laps. But I was in some close battles in each race, so I'm sure the big crowd would have enjoyed it.

"It would have been good to have finished off the season with better race results, but sixth overall in the championship isn't too bad after I missed the opening round due to my New Zealand commitments."

Missing from the grid at Symmons Plains for the final round of the 2010 series was three-time Australian Superbike Champion Shawn Giles, the Team Suzuki rider recovering from a fractured collarbone suffered in the Superbike support category event at the Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix at Phillip Island in mid-October.

Giles expects to be back to race fitness in time for the Australian Endurance Championship 6-hour event at Phillip Island on 4-5 December, where he will co-ride a Team Suzuki GSX-R1000 with Waters.

"It's obviously disappointing not to be racing, but it's important that I'm fully fit before I get back on the bike," GIles said.

"If this weekend had been at Phillip Island I would have been able to race, but Symmons Plains is a lot more physical as the heavy braking puts a lot of strain on your arms and shoulders. My collarbone just isn't strong enough yet."

Superbike Overall Results - Round 7
1 Glenn Allerton
2 Wayne Maxwell
3 Josh Waters
4 Jamie Stauffer
5 Bryan Staring
6 Scott Charlton
7 Robbie Bugden
8 Ben Attard
9 Kris McLaren
10 Beau Beaton.

Superbike Championship Points (Final Championship Standings)
1 Bryan Staring 241pts
2 Wayne Maxwell 234.5
3 Glenn Allerton 192
4 Scott Charlton 172
5 Jamie Stauffer 165
6 Robbie Bugden) 144
7 Josh Waters 143.5
8 Shawn Giles 142.5
9 Shannon Johnson 119
10 Kris McLaren 82.

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