[Husqvarna]

TODD WATERS’ SAND-SLAMMING AORC WINS!

3 weeks ago | Words: Andy Wigan | Photos: Husqvarna Motorcycles Australia

When 2019 Australian MX1 Champion, Todd Waters, decided to have a crack at the Australian Off-Road Championship (AORC) in 2020, there were no guarantees he’d be on the pace. Granted, there was no question about the Husqvarna-backed rider’s blistering speed in a variety of MX track conditions, but that doesn’t always translate into off-road podiums. Not immediately, anyway. Plus, there were questions about whether the likeable Queenslander could successfully juggle double-series duties, racing full and overlapping seasons in both the ProMX and AORC series.

For Waters, however, the transition to off-road was both successful and swift in 2020. In his debut AORC season, he come out swinging with instant podium finishes at the opening two rounds (2-2 in the E2 class and 3-3 Outright), and he ended that Covid-shortened 2020 season in fourth Outright. Season 2021 was much the same story. At the opening two rounds, Waters went 1-1 in the E2 class and 2-2 Outright before Covid shut the rest of the Championship down. And in 2022, Waters has not only been consistently at the pointy end of the AORC results; he also gave everyone a fright at Victoria’s A4DE in May (running second in E2 and fourth Outright in his first ever 4-Day) before snaring a strong second place in the recent Hattah Desert Race. In other words, all that had eluded the 31-year-old in his short off-road career was an Outright win.

Well, that all changed last weekend at Round 5 and 6 of the AORC at Mendooran, NSW, where Todd Waters broke through for not just one, but two, Outright victories in some of the gnarliest, fastest, most whooped-out sand that the AORC had ever seen. To underline just how dominant Waters was, his margin over second place on Saturday and Sunday was a whopping 90 and 60 seconds, respectively.

So, what made the difference – aside from the fact that he’s now accumulated much more off-road racing experience? Waters said he’d found big improvements in his FE450’s settings, which allowed him to charge the square-edged, fast sand whoops that brought so many riders unstuck over the weekend at Mendooran.

“I’m over the moon with this result!,” an excited Waters said after his breakthrough AORC weekend. “I haven’t had any wins this year, which has been frustrating, so to get two back-to-back wins in off-road is a real achievement as it’s not my natural discipline. Coming off the Hattah Desert Race, we found a very comfortable sand set-up and I felt confident coming into the weekend. Living in Lommel, Belgium, for three years during my MXGP career also gave me plenty of experience on how to handle big sand whoops, as well as everything we’ve tackled this year as we get used to the off-road scene. Another big thing is we’ve got a truck now, so the team set-up is definitely building around me and that’s showing in the results. I’ve now got a fire in my belly and confidence in my riding that I’ll carry into the ProMX this weekend, as I try and step up every aspect of my 2022 campaign,” Waters went on to say.

Waters’ results at Mendooran spearheaded a successful weekend’s racing for Husky riders. In the E3 class, Simford Racing’s Andy Wilksch charged to class win on Saturday and made it a Husqvarna 1-2 result in the Outright standings, before again surging to another hard-earned E3 victory on Sunday. It was also a brilliant weekend for Husqvarna-mounted Sam Pretscherer as he powered to 2-3 finishes in the E1 class, while Billy Hargy impressed with 3-2 results in the EJ category.

RESULTS – 2022 AORC @ MENDOORAN, NSW

ROUND 5:

E1

1. Kyron Bacon (Yamaha)

2. Sam Pretscherer (Husqvarna)

3. Korey McMahon (GASGAS)

4. Cooper Sheidow (KTM)

5. Blake Hollis (Yamaha)

E2

1. Todd Waters (Husqvarna)

2. Joshua Green (Yamaha)

3. Jye Dickson (KTM)

4. Callum Norton (Sherco)

5. Scott Keegan (KTM)

E3

1. Andrew Wilksch (Husqvarna)

2. Jonte Reynders (Sherco)

3. Stefan Granquist (KTM)

4. Hayden Keeley (KTM)

5. Patrick McGillivray (KTM)

Outright

1. Todd Waters (Husqvarna)

2. Andrew Wilksch (Husqvarna)

2. Joshua Green (Yamaha)

4. Jonte Reynders (Sherco)

5. Kyron Bacon (Yamaha)

ROUND 6:

E1

1. Kyron Bacon (Yamaha)

2. Korey McMahon (GASGAS)

3. Sam Pretscherer (Husqvarna)

4. Blake Hollis (Yamaha)

5. Cooper Sheidow (KTM)

E2

1. Todd Waters (Husqvarna)

2. Joshua Green (Yamaha)

3. Jye Dickson (KTM)

4. Travis Silk (KTM)

5. Fraser Higlett (Beta)

E3

1. Andrew Wilksch (Husqvarna)

2. Jonte Reynders (Sherco)

3. Luke Bunnik (Sherco)

4. Hayden Keeley (KTM)

5. Patrick McGillivray (KTM)

Outright

1. Todd Waters (Husqvarna)

2. Joshua Green (Yamaha)

3. Jye Dickson (KTM)

4. Kyron Bacon (Yamaha)

5. Korey McMahon (GASGAS)

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