Photo & Interview By: Chase Yocom – Written By: Dan Lamb

The 2018 Indianapolis SX was the first of two East / West 250SX Shootouts for 2018. FELD added the Indy shootout for 2018 and I will be the first to thank FELD for adding another Shootout to the schedule, but for the riders leading the Championship points in their respective regions, it had to be a stressful situation.

It is one thing to maintain a points lead against riders you know from racing week in and week out, but then throw in ten top riders from the opposite coast and it’s a completely different animal. Take that stress and then compound it by going down in the first turn and you can imagine what Rockstar Energy / Husqvarna’s Zach Osborne went through on Saturday night.

After getting a good jump of the gate, Adam Cianciarulo pinched Zach off and knocked a tough block into his path—taking down both Zach and the West points leader, Aaron Plessinger. Heading out of the first turn dead last were the red plates, while their rivals were inside the top ten looking to take advantage of a dream scenario. By the end, though, both salvaged solid points with Aaron coming up to 5th, Zach following him up to 7th and both leaving Indy with the red plates still on their bikes.

Zach still left Indy with a seven point lead over Austin Forkner. Photo by: Simon Cudby

After the press conference, Chase Yocom tracked down Zach to talk about his up and down night inside Lucas Oil Stadium.

Zach, 7th place tonight. Not exactly where you wanted to be, but man, what a comeback ride.

I felt like I did a really, really good start, but a tough block got kicked out in front of me in the first turn and that was all she wrote. I had to dig from basically 21st, I think.


I think it was 22nd. (laughs)

Yeah, I may have been dead last, I don’t know. The thing that bummed me out the most, though, was that I did a really, really good start and still didn’t get anything out of it. It’s okay. The worst case scenario was tonight and I managed to get 7th and lose one, so it’s not a terrible night.


You actually almost got Austin Forkner right at the end. You were coming for him.

Obviously, I wanted that spot for the points and whatnot. Yeah, I wish I had a couple more laps, but it is what it is.

As the laps wound down, Zach’s fitness was the difference maker on the gnarly circuit. Photo by: Chase Yocom

Were you gelling with the track? It was kind of rough and beat up quite a bit. You obviously rode in those conditions many times throughout your years, but were there any certain sections of the track that were good for you?

No, I just feel really comfortable in the ruts. I feel like I’m comfortable being uncomfortable, you know. I’m uncomfortable during the week because the pace is high and those guys are fast. It makes me better on the weekend at being out of my comfort zone. It sucks to ride in the back like that and have to try to pass guys. You end up going their speed until you get by them. It took me a few too many laps to pass a couple of guys—which in the end could have netted me passing Austin—but at the same time, I can’t be too disappointed.


Coming through the pack like that, you run a major risk of something bad happening in front of you and you going down. To not have any of that happen is huge.

Right, it’s good. I only lost one points tonight and it’s okay.


How weird is this East/West Shootout right in the middle? You’re in the middle of a Championship battle right now and it’s almost got to be a little bit frustrating, but it’s different.

You can make it work for you or let it work against you. It can be either or. Tonight I just tried to come in and focus on myself and really execute my laps, and I felt like I did that. Like I said, I feel like I did execute a great start, but it just wasn’t my night.


Dan Lamb is a 12+ year journalist and the owner of MotoXAddicts.