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By Jim Kimball
2017 may be the year of Zach Osborne. Not only has Osborne won the 250 Supercross East Coast Championship, he is the points leader at mid-point of the AMA 250 National Motocross series. While Zach may have a comfortable points lead, he is still taking it race by race, as he know things can change rapidly in racing. Zach is happy and relaxed, but aware that there is still much work to be done to win this championship. It was interesting to learn that one of the 28-year-olds big goals is to be selected to compete on Team USA for the Motocross des Nations Team, which will be held in his old stomping ground of Great Britain.
HALFWAY THROUGH THE NATIONALS YOU APPEAR TO BE THE GUY IN CONTROL. I feel good at this point. We are half way through the season. I have a 38-point lead, and not a lot of bad motos on the board. I am happy with the way I am riding, my fitness and the whole package right now.
YOU APPEAR TO BE ONE OF THE FITTEST RIDERS ON THE TRACK, HAVE YOU ALSO GROWN STRONGER MENTALLY? Yes, for sure. This year has been a huge step in the right direction for me in that department. I attribute it to the steadiness of the program, and not having a lot of unanswered questions on my part. We are doing the right thing, it feels good to lay down at night and not be nervous about what I did not do or what I did do.
RIDERS WITH BIG POINTS LEADS HAVE TRIED TO MANAGE THEIR LEAD AND ENDED UP LOSING CHAMPIONSHIPS? ARE YOU BEING CONSERVATIVE? We are only six rounds in so I can’t really count on anything. I have to go out there and get as many points as I can in every single moto. Of course it is made easier when you get good starts, and keep your nose clean. It has been a good season so far in terms of not making a ton of mistakes—so it has been smooth sailing.
WHO DO YOU CONSIDERED TO BE YOU MAIN CONTENDERS FOR THE 250 CHAMPIONS AT THE HALFWAY POINT? Alex Martin and Jeremy Martin are the main two guys. But I just need to focus on myself. My plan is to get good starts and stay out of trouble.
DOES IT NEGATIVELY AFFECT YOU THAT RIGHT NOW YOU ARE THE TEAM’S ONLY 250 RIDER? No, it doesn’t, I don’t really rely on a teammate in any way, shape or form. So for me, it does not matter. Oh, it is nice to have other people on the team, and at the same time I lean onJason Anderson a little bit. We ride together every day and he has good information. So for me, it’s nice to be able to talk to him. We have a good working relationship even though he’s on a 450.
WHAT MATTERS MOST TO YOU, YOUR 250 EAST CHAMPIONSHIP OR WINNING THE 250 NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP? The Nationals. The Supercross Championship is obviously regional, and this the outdoor series is a National series. The 250 Supercross Championship is big on the career stats, but the 250 National Championship would be huge because the class is so stacked. One of my main goals for this season was to get myself a spot on the Motocross Des Nations Team. That is what I want to work toward. That’s my goal.
WHEN YOU RACED THE WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS YOU LIVED IN ENGLAND, BUT NEVER GOT PICKED FOR TEAM USA. For me, it is a huge deal to be on the MXDN team, especially this year. This year it is at Matterley Basin in Winchester, England. I lived only about 30 minutes away from there. My team owner at the time, Steve Dixon, owned the track. So it would be a big homecoming for me.
LET’S CUT TO THE CHASE, ARE YOU MOVING TO THE 450 CLASS IN 2018? As of right now, we are shooting for 250 Supercross and the 450 Outdoors. But, everything is is subject to change, so we’ll just see how it is going in the beginning of the year and go from there.