Zach Osborne is arguably more passionate about the Motocross of Nations than any other rider, which was evident by the amount of commitment and work that went into representing Team USA over the weekend. Although the results didn’t pan out as expected, it was down to misfortune more than anything else. Osborne and his two teammates, Jason Anderson and Justin Cooper, can take comfort in the fact that they clearly had the potential to battle for a podium on race day.
MX Vice: It was not the result anyone wanted. I think the way I sum it up is everyone left RedBud saying, “What happened?” Here you kind of leave it saying, “What are you going to do?” Luck wasn’t on your side. That was that.
Zach Osborne: Yeah. After yesterday we were feeling pretty positive about it. Justin [Cooper] was really good. He was clearly the best in the MX2, then today obviously he came together with Jason [Anderson] on the first lap and that was worst-case scenario. We didn’t make any progress there. That is super unfortunate, so it is what it is. I don’t know what else to say. I rode pretty good in the first moto.
Mediocre in the second moto and had to stop for goggles. There are a million things you can say, but we were the sixth-best team today. I can really hang my hat on knowing that we came here, we did our very best and we put in a lot of effort. Both of the teams put in a lot of effort, IceOne and Kemea with Star. We gave it our all. There is nothing left to question except that we were not the best team today.
When you were watching that first moto and saw that both the guys were so far down the order on lap one, did that kind of change things for you? Did you immediately have this gut feeling that you have kind of got to do your job?
Yeah. It was worst-case scenario from there on, from the first lap of the first moto. It is what it is. What do you do? I knew that I needed to go out there and make something happen in the second moto, so they gave me the gate pick. I was able to get a fifth, which was decent. Just kind of got the ball rolling in the other direction. That was all we could really write home about today.
You were not too happy after yesterday. Hard to judge too much, because of the conditions today, but do you feel like you made a lot of progress overnight?
Yeah, but also I just don’t feel like I rode to my full potential either day. Whether I was putting too much pressure on myself or whatever, I don’t really know. It is what it is and we’ll just carry on.
After all of the testing you have done over the last month, did that kind of help? Did you come in after a couple of laps of practice yesterday and feel like you needed to overhaul the bike completely? Was your base setting pretty close?
We were basically both really close to our US-based settings. It was what we knew the best, but definitely the track was like nothing we rode in the weeks prior. It’s super strange. It’s super slick-feeling. Not much to really turn on. There is nothing really to be said other than that it didn’t go our way. That’s huge. If we could have had Justin, I feel like he was easily two times in the top fifteen. That would put us on the podium. It was really unfortunate for him to get injured or banged up in the first race and have a terrible day.
No regrets, right? You put a lot into this event. Your family did too. Are you sat here bitter and pissed off, because of that? Like you said, there is nothing you could do about this.
Yeah. I would have loved to have a trophy to take home or something. That would have been really nice for all the effort, but if I was asked to do it again then I would sign up straight away. No regrets at all. Like I said, I think that we can hang our hats on the fact that we came here when no one else would and put in a bigger effort than probably has been done in a long time. I’m happy with my guys. They picked the flag up and ran towards the battle just as I did, and that’s all we can say.
This event means more to you than maybe any other American rider. You obviously desperately want to stand on the podium. You have had two shots and have not managed it. Is patience starting to wear a little thin? Are you starting to get a bit antsy and really want this to happen?
I mean, of course I would love for it to happen. It’s a huge goal of mine. Even a win with Team USA would be awesome, but it’s one of those deals where what do you do? It’s a freaking hard race to win. I think that we were a little bit spoiled in the US with so many wins in a row and not really realizing the task and how big it actually is.
Then you have a day like today where it is just terrible weather. For me, I hope I get another chance. It’s hard to get picked, honestly. Even with guys saying no, it’s still a decision. I’m grateful every time that I’m mentioned in the conversation. We’ll just keep plugging away and hope for another selection.
When you got selected you were quite vocal about wanting to change the set-up of Team USA and have you guys closer together again. Just looking at the paddock, it seems like you managed that. Do you feel like that was a big advantage compared to say Matterley Basin?
For sure. We have a much better team atmosphere this week. It’s one of those things where you change something and it doesn’t go well, so then there’s going to be criticism. I’m totally aware and ready for that. I think we did a much better job as a team than I’ve seen in a long time.
Interview: Lewis Phillips | Lead Image: ConwayMX