When Zach Osborne had his infamous fade after leading the Budds Creek national in 2006, many in America wrote him off.
After injuries, health and team issues ruined his next two seasons, Osborne was left without a ride. He wasn’t wanted in America and in 2008 at only 18 years old, his career looked to be over.
That was until a chance meeting with Ashley Kane lead to a surprise ride in the Steve Dixon Yamaha team. Osborne flew over mid -summer in 2008 and immediately showed good speed in the British Championship. He battled at times with Shaun Simpson and Stephen Sword who were locked in a tight championship battle and then shocked everyone in the GPs by winning a moto at the Irish GP.
Osborne was a new man. He had no injuries, no distractions and tunnel vision that meant he had to succeed and he did.
But aside from pockets of admiration for racing the World Championship no-one in his home country really saw Osborne as on the same level as their top AMA 250 riders. The US media did not quite garner him with the same affection or coverage that the equivalent placing rider in the USA got and, despite more podiums in 2011 and 2012 in the GPs, questions were still being asked by the American fans as to Zach’s true speed and he was never in the running for a MXDN spot for team USA.
After his fifth overall at round one Zach mentioned in an interview that he was just hoping to get some points because the internet said GPs were slow. His tongue was firmly in his cheek but it did show that he was sick of being underestimated by his own countryman and his achievements in the world championship (he was the most successful American since Mike Brown) where not fully appreciated.
Now with his first American podium at Colorado, Zach has finally proven to his countrymen that he is fast and one of the best American 250 riders in the world. In fact three of the top four in Colorado where three of the top four in the 2010 GP season and Osborne is quick to point out that the GP riders are doing pretty well in the 250 class!
It has to be a satisfying moment for the Virginian who five years after leaving the US is showing just how good he has become. He knew it and we in the UK knew it, but finally his countrymen know it too – Zach is a top class rider.
Zach Osborne has come full circle. He is back where he started but this time he is delivering the results that were expected all those years ago. And because he is getting the podiums in the US and not GPs, he is finally getting the fan credit in the USA that he deserved for the last five years.
Zach Osborne has proven his point!
Article by Jonathan McCready