Photo by: Simon Cudby
Heading into the opening round of the 2018 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship, everyone expected the 250MX class to be a battle between the current and former champ in the class, Rockstar / Husqvarna’s Zach Osborne and GEICO / Honda’s Jeremy Martin, and that is exactly what we got. In both motos the two found one another on the track with Osborne passing Martin in both motos and going 1-1. Jeremy went 2-2 and kept him honest in both motos but Zach’s confidence at the moment looked like the difference maker.
We caught with Zacho at his team truck after the second moto and talked to him about coming from behind in both motos to win and his thoughts on Glen Helen next weekend.
Zach, l I don’t know if I’ve ever seen you look that calm and comfortable coming through the field, going to the front and just walking away. That was impressive today.
Yeah, that was pretty good. I has a few places where l felt like I was a lot better where I could pass someone every lap if I needed to. One of those being the half pipe and that downhill. I felt like I could put it anywhere and be comfortable. I think that comes a little bit from having an entire year on my setup that I had today. I haven’t changed a thing since Colorado last year. I think being familiar with my bike and knowing exactly how it’s going to feel and react is a nice thing. I didn’t really make a lot of mistakes or have any adverse things happen so it was nice pretty stress free day.
In that first moto you let them get away a little bit, but at no point did you winning the moto ever look in doubt.
Yeah, when J. Mart passed [Austin] Forkner I was like, “Okay, now you need to get in there and see what happens.” I didn’t want him to get in there pass [Justin] Cooper and be two guys in front of me with a gap. I made some things happen there pretty quick. I was able to settle in and, like I said, I felt like I had those places where I was superior and could make it happen no matter what.
How good does it feel to have the kind of fitness you have right now? It was hot, first MX of the year and none of that seems to matter any more. You seem to have everyone covered.
It’s nice. I wouldn’t even say it’s fitness as much as it is confidence. I’ve been fit for quite a few years now, but I’m coming out here and knowing I can do it. With other people expect ing me to win as well. That’s also kind of a driver if you will. There was never that expectation before. It was like, “You know, you can can get on the podium or whatever, but he’s not going to win today.” Now I’m at a point in my career where every time I go on the track—from the outside—I should win. That drives me to be better every day and never let off the foot peddle.
That’s really the difference maker on what makes guys a Champion, isn’t it?
I’ve said time and time again that five years ago I definitely couldn’t have handled the load of Aldon’s [Baker, trainer] program. Now I’m at a place where I’m 28, I’m pretty chill and I don’t so a lot of extracurricular activities. I’m really committed to my work at this point. I think that, that’s what makes the difference. I work hard, that hard work produces expectations from within and it snowballs from there.
Glen Helen next weekend and there’s been a lot of talk about the huge jumps Jody is building there. I do not know what Jody is thinking with those jumps.
I hope we don’t get there and it’s still there. It’s silly. No need for it. Glen Helen is the gnarliest track on the planet even if they didn’t put a single jump on it. You could go there, not have a single jump and it’s the gnarliest track. Then they put those jumps there at the second race of the year, it’s uncalled for.
On a normal Glen Helen day, love it or hate it?
I’m okay with it. I wouldn’t say love it or hate it, I’m probably somewhere on the fence. With the jumps? I hate it.