America’s top world championship motocross racer, Zach Osborne, came through a sweltering and challenging Grand Prix of Brazil across the rough and crimson dirt of Campo Grande to earn fifth position and move into the top five of the FIM series. The Bike it Cosworth Yamaha star has taken three GP podiums in 2010 and currently fronts the highly-competitive Maxxis British Championship. With two rounds remaining in the international campaign Osborne can still finish fourth in the world.
21,500 spectators defied the ultraviolet of the Mato Grosso do Sol state sunshine and also attempted to avoid the dust plumes that caused the new circuit to retain a degree of danger in practice and qualification on Saturday. Osborne couldn’t quite gel with the jumpy course on the first day but was quickest on a heavily-watered layout Sunday morning in warm-up and felt more comfortable on his Cosworth-powered YZ250F going into the two 35 minute and 2 lap motos.
The first race saw the 20 year old scramble into fourth position and looked set for a shot at a fourth podium trophy. The Virginian couldn’t set the same pace in the second outing however and was disappointed with a small error that cost him eighth place just before the flag. Fifth overall was still a creditable result and means that Osborne now sits 6 points in front of Jeremy Van Horebeek and needs 49 to catch and demote the absent Jeffrey Herlings.
“It wasn’t the best day of the year but it wasn’t the worse. The GP was nothing to be pumped about but then also something not to be super-disappointed about!” he surmised. “I think I need to work on my second moto fitness a little bit. Not being able to train after the concussion has set me back a little. I will see what I can do to bring that up before Lierop and have a few good rides before the end of the season.”
“I didn’t have a good feeling on Saturday but I was fastest Sunday morning and that helped my confidence,” he specified. “I had a decent start in the first moto and just hung-it-out-there. I didn’t really get tired at all but after about seven or eight laps of the second I felt flat and was going through the motions. I made a silly mistake which cost me eighth.”
“That is my seventh or eighth top five finish of the year and I have never reached this point of a season fully fit or in a stable situation so I don’t really know what to expect of my body at this point,” Osborne added. “I will have some consultation with Kenneth [Gundersen, his trainer] and see what we can do to get back to top shape for the season run-in.”
With a 44 point lead and just 150 points left to win Osborne could secure his first significant title next weekend at Silverstone with the penultimate round of the Maxxis British Championship. The races come thick and fast as the FIM campaign will close with successive trips to Holland and Italy.
Photos courtesy of Ray Archer