Sitting seventh overall in the MXGP classification after round five of the FIM Motocross World Championship, Red Bull IceOne Husqvarna Factory Racing‰Ûªs Todd Waters was on course to become the standout rookie in 2014.
But an unfortunate training accident prior to the MXGP of The Netherlands saw the popular young Australian sidelined with a broken leg, hip and collarbone.
Now with the all clear to race again, Waters returned to racing at the final round of the ADAC German Motocross Championship. Placing a highly impressive fifth in race one, Waters is delighted to be back on track‰Û_
Todd, what did it feel like to finally get back behind a starting gate again?
It felt really, really good. I‰Ûªm a racer ‰ÛÒ racing‰Ûªs what I love to do. You can practice and train day after day but there‰Ûªs no feeling in the world that beats lining up alongside 39 other riders that are all gunning for that same piece of ground in the first corner.
To finish fifth in your first race back must have been a welcome surprise. Did you have any expectations leading into the event?
We were racing with a very open mind. Honestly, the team and myself where there just to get a feel for things. They put no pressure on me to deliver a result ‰ÛÒ they just wanted me to finish both races. On Saturday I was naturally nervous and a bit rusty so I only qualified 16th.
That gave me a bad gate pick but somehow I started good and was running as high as third before eventually crossing the finish line in fifth.
Rain before the second race made things difficult, how did you deal with the slippery conditions?
I like riding in the mud but up until that point I hadn‰Ûªt ridden in mud for a very long time. I had done all my training on sand tracks like Lommel so it was hard to adapt. My start wasn‰Ûªt so good this time and I got filled in during the first few corners.
But like I said, we were just there for the practice. Getting two full motos in was the most important result for us.
When did you make the decision to return to racing?
I started back riding about four weeks ago. I had hoped to be ready a little earlier than that so I could race the final GP‰Ûªs but it just didn‰Ûªt work out. At 14 weeks after my injury I rode for three days but I wasn‰Ûªt ready. My ankle was giving me a lot of pain so Antti PyrhÌ¦nen ‰ÛÒ my team manager ‰ÛÒ made the decision to wait.
Even though I wanted to ride he could see I wasn‰Ûªt ready. In hindsight I have a lot to thank him for because it was the right call to make. It‰Ûªs good to know that the team have my best interests at heart.‰Û