Both Cole Seely and Zach Osborne didn’t have the results they wanted in Geneva, but they were fast. How fast? Seely said, “All the things that we tested in the past month I can just throw it down and prove that we’re doing our work the only way I could, which was to be a lap down and be the fastest guy on the track.” Osborne said, “I was, I feel, the best guy here this weekend.”
Both had issues that stopped such speed from turning into wins. Osborne literally crashed on the last lap while leading the race on night one. Seely had bad starts and both got bottled up in first turn troubles on night two.
It was a good overall test run for each, though, with Honda HRC’s Seely in his first race since big injuries back in February, and Osborne continuing to learn the Rockstar Energy Husqvarna 450.
Cole Seely | Sixth Overall
Racer X: It didn’t quite go the way you wanted it to go, but you won a heat race. Tonight, you pulled away from the leaders, [Justin] Barcia and [Justin] Brayton, after a pit stop. So you showed good speed, but unfortunately you got sixth or seventh or whatever.
Cole Seely: Yeah, it’s definitely not the way I saw this event going. I felt like I was going really good and then when I went down in the second turn—I actually had a clear track in front of me. I think Zach [Osborne] was actually to the right of me. Then a rider came over across me, across him and I hit the ground. It would have been so easy just to pull in and call it a night, but I was like, you know what? There’s two things that went through my mind. A) They paid me a lot to be here and I don’t want to upset the promoters or the fans or anybody like that, and b) was the only way to prove I’m the fastest guy on the track right now is just hammer down. I didn’t want to be rude about it. I was looking at the big screen every chance I could to see where Barcia was just to make sure I wasn’t going to get in his way. I just gapped the leaders even though I was almost a lap down.
Was it almost a little bit of fun to work up through all those kind of guys that are slower? It’s a challenge to find the right lines to get by them?
No. It’s terrifying. Maybe on home soil, but not here. The track’s so skinny and tight and these guys, when they get tired they kind of stop doing the rhythms and stuff. So it’s really scary. I was trying to be smart about it. Then halfway through it I’m like, this is actually pretty good. All the things that we tested in the past month I can just throw it down and prove that we’re doing our work the only way I could, which was to be a lap down and be the fastest guy on the track.
Talking about the rhythm section today a lot. I thought you were the best guy on the inside going two, three onto the table. You were getting into that small, little berm pretty good. Did you feel comfortable there?
Yeah, super good right there. I couldn’t believe how well the bike was taking that turn, and then the whole rhythm section. I even found some stuff after that. I was like, man, if I was in the lead right now I’d be having the time of my life. Closest thing to it I guess is being the fastest.
First gate drops for you since late February after your injury. Got to feel good.
Yeah, even though my gate drops were terrible. The actual behind the gate part was terrible. Everything past that was good. But we’ll go and do our homework. I’m doing Italy, so I fly out in two weeks for that and we’ll be right back here. I’m excited. I was so tense and nervous and just could not shake it yesterday. I couldn’t get past it. Today when I go to the track, I was just feeling it. Fastest in qualifying, which I suck at practicing usually. I was just flowing and flowing and flowing. I just felt like it was going to be a good night. Unfortunately it wasn’t, but still like I said showed some speed. Had a lot of fun. It was a fun group of riders. Hopefully I get invited back next year.
Racer X: Not the second night you wanted to have. You were kind of screwed with your starting spot due to the malfunction in the heat race. I guess it was either inside or outside, right?
Zach Osborne: Yeah. I felt like I had more control there on the inside and I actually really, really crushed the start. Barcia just had the angle. And then I tried to protect the inside a little bit because I knew I was a little wide in the first turn because I was really deep. When I went to turn back, I got smoked and then there were bikes on top of me and stuff. Really happy to walk away healthy. There’s a lot of positives I can take. I was, I feel, the best guy here this weekend. Blew a main event last night, but I feel good about my setting that I’m racing with. I feel like my fitness is good. It just didn’t come together for me. It’s really unfortunate because we all put a lot of effort into it. I wanted to win King [of Geneva] really bad, so we’ll just keep plugging away. But a lot of positives I can take, like I said, going into Anaheim. That’s why I came here, to kind of get some kinks out, so it’s nice.
I thought you were grabbing a holeshot, and that would have been pretty impressive from that spot where you were.
Yeah. I was looking down the start straight and that last jump after the whoops was built on, like, a box and I was dead in line with the box. I was like, if you don’t kill this, you’re done. So I got out of there really good and then I think [Cedric] Soubeyras turned back underneath me. He was to the right of me. When I went wide behind Barcia, he turned back underneath me and I just got plowed. So it’s unfortunate.
Like you said, this is a positive weekend for you. I thought you were pretty impressive all day long. Almost no matter what happened, you were on it.
Yeah, like I said, I feel really good about everything. I want to be a contender for wins and podiums this year. I think I’m on the right track. I have one more month. I’ve been riding for six weeks since my injury and I feel pretty good about where I’m at. I’m not going to lose focus. Just going to keep charging forward and get back. We have one more big test with the factory in two weeks and I think we can make some more progress with everything—myself, my bike, everything. So it’ll be another tick better. If I can find another couple two or three tenths I can really do some damage, I feel like.
Aldon [Baker] already texted you when he saw you on the ground?
Yeah, but he was like, “Dude, are you getting arm pump or something?” Because he was watching the heat race. I’m like, “No. I didn’t have a seat in that race, but thanks, Aldon.” [Note: Osborne’s seat popped off in a race]. He’s a good dude, though. He was checking on me, so it’s all good.