It was a monumental day for Zach Osborne and the Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing Team, who wrapped up their first-ever AMA 450MX Championship title on Saturday at the season finale in Pala, California.
Despite the challenges presented in 2020, Osborne persisted in his pursuit of a career-first title in the premier class and his tenacity paid off as he concluded the season with the highest honours.
With a 24-point lead heading into the weekend, Osborne managed his championship status throughout the course of the day putting forth conservative 5-7 race finishes to claim sixth overall.
Honda’s Chase Sexton finished 3-1 at Pala to win the round overall.
In race one, Osborne shot off the line to secure the holeshot before settling into a top-three position early on.
He battled up front with a hard-charging group of riders but he didn’t push the envelope, coming through with a solid top-five finish in the first moto.
In race two, Osborne grabbed a top-five start and once again managed the race to ultimately come away with a championship-winning seventh-place finish.
In only his second season in the 450 cc division, Osborne began generating momentum at the end of the AMA Supercross Championship where he closed out the season with a career-first 450SX win ahead of team-mates Jason Anderson and Dean Wilson, who contributed to a notable 450 podium sweep for Husqvarna.
From there, the 31-year-old Virginia native continued to grind through the most uncertain of times and he’s proven to be unstoppable ever since racing resumed in August.
Concluding the season with an impressive four overall wins, two of which were achieved by virtue of 1-1 sweeps, Osborne was able to command the red number plate from start to finish. As a two-time 250SX Eastern Regional Champion (2017 and ’18), as well as 2017 250MX Champion, Osborne has now successfully added another title to his arsenal as he looks to surmount all four major championships over the course of his career.
“I considered actually retiring in March after I broke my back and my wife gave me a pep talk and we decided against it, went to Salt Lake and that went well and it just carried into this outdoor season,” said Osborne.
“I came out swinging and was able to take home a national championship which is something I never ever dreamed of doing, I felt it was way out of my league – so dream big is the moral of the story and don’t ever give up. Find people that believe in you even when you don’t and keep pressing on. It’s such a relief to win this today. What an incredible day.”
Next up will be the 2021 AMA Supercross Championship in early 2021.
Photo courtesy Husqvarna USA
Find BikesportNZ.com on FACEBOOK here
Fox Raceway National – Results
450 Class Overall Results (Moto Finish)
1 Chase Sexton, La Moille, Ill., Honda (3-1)
2 Eli Tomac, Cortez, Colo., Kawasaki (1-4)
3 Adam Cianciarulo, Port Orange, Fla., Kawasaki (2-3)
4 Christian Craig, El Cajon, Calif., Honda (4-2)
5 Marvin Musquin, France, KTM (6-5)
6 Zach Osborne, Abingdon, Va., Husqvarna (5-7)
7 Max Anstie, England, Suzuki (9-6)
8 Justin Bogle, Cushing, Okla., KTM (7-8)
9 Broc Tickle, Holly, Mich., Yamaha (8-9)
10 Coty Schock, Dover, Del., Honda (12-10)
Final 450 Class Championship Standings
1 Zach Osborne, Abingdon, Va., Husqvarna – 355 Points
2 Adam Cianciarulo, Port Orange, Fla., Kawasaki – 343 Points
3 Eli Tomac, Cortez, Colo., Kawasaki – 321 Points
4 Marvin Musquin, France, KTM – 314 Points
5 Chase Sexton, La Moille, Ill., Honda – 290 Points
6 Christian Craig, El Cajon, Calif., Honda – 235 Points
7 Justin Barcia, Monroe, N.Y., Yamaha – 234 Points
8 Blake Baggett, Grand Terrace, Calif., KTM – 232 Points
9 Max Anstie, England, Suzuki – 193 Points
10 Broc Tickle, Holly, Mich., Yamaha – 170 Points
250 Class Overall Results (Moto Finish)
1 Jett Lawrence, Australia, Honda (1-2)
2 Jeremy Martin, Millville, Minn., Honda (4-1)
3 Dylan Ferrandis, France, Yamaha (2-5)
4 Shane McElrath, Canton, N.C., Yamaha (5-4)
5 Jo Shimoda, Japan, Honda (9-3)
6 Jarrett Frye, Mechanicsville, Md., Yamaha (8-6)
7 Brandon Hartranft, Brick, N.J., KTM (7-7)
8 Mitchell Harrison, Brighton, Mich., Kawasaki (6-9)
9 Carson Mumford, Simi Valley, Calif., Honda (11-8)
10 Cameron McAdoo, Sioux City, Iowa, Kawasaki (10-11)
Final 250 Class Championship Standings
1 Dylan Ferrandis, France, Yamaha – 390 Points
2 Jeremy Martin, Millville, Minn., Honda – 377 Points
3 Shane McElrath, Canton, N.C., Yamaha – 288 Points
4 Jett Lawrence, Australia, Honda – 277 Points
5 Justin Cooper, Cold Spring Harbor, N.Y., Yamaha – 271 Points
6 Alex Martin, Millville, Minn., Suzuki – 242 Points
7 RJ Hampshire, Hudson, Fla., Husqvarna – 217 Points
8 Mitchell Harrison, Brighton, Mich., Kawasaki – 190 Points
9 Cameron McAdoo, Sioux City, Iowa, Kawasaki – 187 Points
10 Jo Shimoda, Japan, Honda – 174 Points