By Neil Morrison
The British Superbike merry-go-round continues as Josh Waters returns to the series with Martin Halsall's Kawasaki Racing team for the final two rounds of the 2013 season.
Waters, who was competing with the Milwaukee Yamaha team this season, lost his seat to Tommy Bridewell just days before the previous round at Assen after a difficult year where he struggled to make any real impact on the top ten in the championship.
Despite arriving in the UK with two Australian Superbike titles to his name he failed to gel with the R1 and was shown the door by Shaun Muir as the team needed a “wing man” for James Ellison in the Showdown races.
With Bridewell leaving the Halsall setup team manager Martin Halsall was keen to find a replacement to ride the Kawasaki ZX-10R, which was a consistent podium contender in the Englishman's hands. Waters will ride alongside Lee Costello as Halsall Racing expands to a two-rider effort once more.
It has been a hectic fortnight for 26-year old as he flew straight to France for the Le Mans 24 Hour World Endurance event after learning he had lost his ride. Riding alongside Sylvain Barrier and Sébastian Gimbert in the BMW Motorrad France squad, Waters held a two-lap advantage at the half way stage before transmission issues ended hopes of a debut victory.
Speaking ahead of his BSB return at Silverstone Waters said, “I am really grateful for the opportunity that Martin has given me to ride the Kawasaki for the remaining two rounds of the season. For me personally I want to simply focus on the future, staying in BSB and working with a leading team. Martin has produced a bike capable of running at the front and winning the championship next season.
“The rest is down to me and I am determined to make this work. I was very impressed with the team and their entire approach to racing. There were so many similarities to the team I rode with for seven years in Australia, where I won two national superbike titles. Martin and I seem to share the same philosophy and values, so I look forward to working with him and his team.”
Team manager Martin Halsall is delighted with his new recruit and revealed Waters has an option to sign permanently with the team for 2014.
“Josh is a rider that comes with a very strong racing pedigree having secured two Australian Superbike titles. His recent performance at the Le Mans twenty-four hour demonstrated his capability further and he could have easily gone on to a podium had the team not suffered mechanical issue. His performance impressed me greatly with outstanding lap times on the BMW S1000RR, which he had not ridden previously.
“Since our ride became available, there have been a number of approaches which I have assessed carefully. I had only come to know Josh in recent months and very much liked what he was about. I believe with a strong team behind him and the performance of the Kawasaki which we have shown to be a leading contender, I wanted to give Josh an option for the remaining rounds, with a view to extending for next season also. We will evaluate that position fully after Brands and see whether it is something which can be agreed between both parties. I will sit down with Josh at the appropriate time when it is good for both of us. For now, the focus for the team and Josh is on the rounds at Silverstone and Brands Hatch” he said.
“Josh and I have spoken extensively over the past few days and he recently visited us at our headquarters in Bolton. It was good that he liked the team dynamic, our philosophy and overall approach to bike racing. What is important now is that Josh goes to the next two rounds and enjoys the bike with absolutely no pressure. It is a great opportunity for the team to have someone with Josh's experience and talent on board and I think he will enjoy being part of our operation. We're pleased to have him and I am looking forward to seeing both Lee and Josh on the grid in a few days at Silverstone.”
Waters currently lies 14th in the championship standings with 80 points to his name.