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Zach at speed in Minnesota. Photo Brian Converse.

Although Rockstar Energy Husqvarna’s Zach Osborne did not wIn the 250 class at the East Coast season opener in Minneapolis, he clearly showed that his speed and fitness are second to none. Setting the fastest lap times in both qualifying sessions was definitely an indicator of things to come later in the evening. Zach looked more than ready for the series opener. Derailed twice during the main event, once on the first lap, and then later in the night when his bike slipped into neutral, Osborne had the Minneapolis track wired. While many riders were complaining about the track, Zach was excelling. It appears that Osborne’s off-season training with Aldon Baker has helped as he was barely winded after the race – which was when we tracked him down.

By Jim Kimball

Zach with 450 teammate Jason Anderson (left) during the track walk in Minneapolis. Photo: Brian Converse.

ZACH, YOU REALLY SET THE TONE ALL DAY IN QUALIFYING DID YOU FEEL YOU “THE GUY” TO BEAT? Well, maybe one of the guys for sure. But to come here and dominate the two practice sessions the way I did, I was a little bit surprised by that.  I knew that I had that in me, but to bring it to the race, and to gel at the track as well as I did, I was pretty pumped.  I knew that I would be close to the front, and I know that I am going to be in the hunt for the championship. But at the same time, there is a lot of guessing before the season.  Some those guys have been racing for a while, and you are just here and there with actually racing. It was tough, but it paid off for sure.

YOU HAVE BEEN TRAINING WITH DUNGEY, MUSQUIN, AND ANDERSON. WHAT HAVE YOU GOTTEN FROM THAT, AND WHAT HELPED YOU THE MOST? Mainly just the intensity of the riding, it’s as if we were racing  every day.  We moto together, and we ride bicycles together.  Everybody is on the same page, puling in the same direction, and we are all there to build off each other. It has been a good winter and for sure, I feel like it has brought me on to a new level.

YOU WERE CAUGHT UP IN A FIRST LAP CRASH, DI D YOU THINK YOUR NIGHT WAS DONE? Joey Savatgy was beside me when the bike was coming my way.  I saw Joey go around the downed bike, and I knew that he was in front of me.  I also knew that he was going to be one of the main competitors to win tonight, so I was freaking out a little bit. But then I got around it, and I was still in like 5th or 6th, so it was not too bad. I just started to plug away at putting in some consistent laps and it worked out fine.

RIDERS WERE COMPLAINING ABOUT THE TRACK, WHAT DID YOU THINK OF IT? I just felt good about the track all day. A lot of people did not like it. I didn’t think it flowed very well, but I actually felt like it was pretty good. I found the rhythm to it pretty quickly, and overall I really enjoyed the track.

YOU IMPRESSED A LOT PEOPLE IN MINNEAPOLIS. DOES THAT GIVE YOU GOOD FEELINGS ABOUT THE REST OF THE SERIES?  For sure it does! It is good to come out of round one with a podium and be in the hunt for the championship. I truly feel that we are right where we need to be. I knew I was not going to be far off, but I did not know exactly where I was going to be. It is good to get things started off on the right foot, and know that I have a lot more in the tank.


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