Zach Osborne is on the fringe of being the most successful American rider in the FIM Motocross World Championship in a decade after taking 8th place overall at the Grand Prix of Benelux in Holland last weekend. The 20 year old from Virginia is currently fifth in the highly competitive MX2 category on his Bike it Cosworth Yamaha and needs 24 points from the final round of fifteen next week in Italy to break into the top four of the standings.
The Maxxis British Championship leader (carrying 47 points of advantage with one meeting remaining) ran to 11th and 6th under Dutch sun and in front of 12,000 spectators upon the rough and changing Lierop sand. The Grand Prix represented one of the trickiest on the calendar as much for the technical difficulty as the physical demands. The second race saw Osborne flowing easily and smoother with the bumps and he held a consistent speed on a surface that requires a special style and approach.
Osborne, already a collector of three podium trophies in 2010, is now set to become the top US rider in the world championship (that visits thirteen different countries in six months) since Mike Brown finished third in the 2000 125cc contest.
“The first race was not brilliant but at least I got some points. In the second race I put in a solid charge and I think that was the benefit of the recent fitness work I have been doing and the effort to get back on form after the recent concussion,” he described. “I’m pretty happy with the second race and have good momentum going into Fermo. I think I can be up there going for the podium again next week. Like a lot of people I have never been to Fermo but I seem to pick up new tracks pretty fast, we’ll see. I really want to get that fourth place in the championship.”
“Lierop is not the easiest track! And you need a special feeling around here. I struggled the whole weekend until the last race and that is still not where I wanted to be,” he added.
“I am coming to the end of my first full season ever without injury or some other problem and mentally I am a bit tired but physically I am in good shape, and it actually helps mentally to see and feel that I can do 35 minutes and 2 laps around one of the gnarliest tracks there is. I am pretty happy with the way things are going,” he concluded.
The Grand Prix of Italy will take place next weekend at Fermo on the Adriatic coast and Osborne will then have a break before competing in the biggest race of the year – the 64th Motocross of Nations – at Thunder Valley, Denver, Colorado.