It’s been a long time coming, but Zach Osborne is finally a AMA Pro Motocross Champion. The young Virginia-native capped off an impressive Outdoor National season to capture the 250 title at the Budds Creek MX in Maryland. Osborne finished the day with an 8-1 stat line to capture 2nd overall on the day and mathematically lock up the Championship a race early.
“I’m one grateful kid right now,” Osborne succinctly summed up. “When I passed the mechanics area on the last lap and I saw all my people cheering… I got chills and it kind of all hit me.”
“I can’t say enough about Zach and what he’s accomplished this season,” continued Kenny Adams, Dragon’s Motorsports Marketing Manager. “Week in, week out, he’s worked his tail off to get to this point. We knew he had the heart of a Champion, and now it’s confirmed.”
With high hopes coming into the weekend, Zach’s last stop on the way to the title didn’t come as smoothly as he and his team would have hoped. The Dragon rider started the day off with a crash at the start of Moto 1, putting him at the back of the pack while rival Jeremy Martin was out in front. Zach managed to stop the bleeding and make his way back to 8th place, but had his work cut out for him in Moto 2, with a four-point buffer left to lock up the title in Maryland.
“It was tough, I was pretty distraught after that first Moto,” Zach said. “Coming in today at a track I’m comfortable with and getting 8th in the first Moto… I had my back against the wall.” The Rockstar-Husqvarna Factory rider made some adjustments and got a decent start in Moto 2 (3rd place) and put the hammer down. “It’s kind of the way of my season has gone. I’ve been down in the first turn more than once and so it was kind of fitting.” And despite a smoking clutch halfway through the race, Zach did what he’s done all year, and finished ahead of the entire pack. His results allowed him to take another overall podium, his 10th out of 11 races this season.
The site of the Championship holds a special place for Osborne. In 2016 it was the site of his first Overall MX win. And a decade ago it was the site of his infamous “Snack Pack” race where a rookie Osborne led most of the Budds Creek race before fading to 18th in dramatic fashion.
“It means a lot,” Osborne said of winning in Budds Creek. “It’s an awesome town here, and I’m in front of a lot of friends and family. It’s the same thing as my first win last year. It’s ironic and it’s fitting for the path of my career to wrap it up here at a track I love.”
Coming off the thrilling come-from-behind victory to clinch the 2017 Supercross title, Zach set the tone from the get go. Starting the season off with two overall wins in California at Hangtown and Glen Helen, the Rockstar-Husky rider took ahold of the red plate, and never relented. Despite a slight stumble at Thunder Valley, Osborne regained his stranglehold on the lead with a pair of 2nd place finishes at High Point and Muddy Creek, which he immediately followed up with two wins at Red Bud and Southwick. And while his competitors had up-and-down performances weekend to weekend, Zach continued the barrage of results with four more consecutive podiums at Spring Valley, Washougal, Unadilla and this weekend’s Budds Creek.
“I can’t say enough about Rockstar Energy-Husqvarna Racing,” Osborne noted. “They’ve stood behind me from day one and are still behind me today. Aldon [Baker], Jason [Anderson], Marvin [Musquin], and Ryan [Dungey]… can’t thank them enough,” he continued about his move to train at Baker’s Factory in Florida nearly a year ago.
This marks the 2nd Championship Title in Outdoor Nationals for Husqvarna, and the first in the 250cc class. While the celebration has begun in the Osborne camp, the 2017 season isn’t over as the tour has one more stop at Ironman MX outside of Indianapolis, IN. Once the MX season wraps up, Zach will be headed to the United Kingdom to captain Team USA at the MX of Nations event.
“I’m here 11 years [after] the moto that everyone knows, and to sit here and be a champion… don’t ever give up on what you believe in.”