Moto Media

with ... Zach Osborne

What are Zach’s feelings on his own season, what role does he play in the Bike-it Cosworth Wild Wolf Yamaha team, and what’s his analysis on the Roczen/Herlings duel ? For Youthstream, Stanley Leroux, sat down with him after the GP of Spain to figure it out.

So Zach, last year you ended up 4th in the MX2 standings and this season you’re also fighting for that 4th spot. How satisfied are you with your 2011 campaign so far ?

Well, I was fourth until last weekend in Spain when I had a DNF in the first moto causing me to lose several points. I have now moved into fifth in the standings. I am a little disappointed in the season so far because I haven't really accomplished my goals and contended for the top spot like I should be.

Zach Osborne at the Monster Energy GP of United States - Stanley Leroux image.

In Portugal you fought with a sickness, and you’ve been struggling for a few weeks with your wrist, you even scored your podiums riding with a splint. Are you riding at 100% at the moment ?

Sometime between France and Portugal I got some sort of flu which made me feel very weak and my body ached. I was also coughing really badly, which took a lot of energy and affected my breathing quite a lot, so it was difficult to race with the infection. In the heat race at the USGP in Glen Helen, I made a mistake and another rider landed on me, which caused a small fracture to the radius of my wrist. I had it x-rayed on site and was told it wasn't broken. Two weeks later, I found out that it was indeed fractured. At the weekends, I would say I am riding at 85-90% because of the pain and limited movement, but it is greatly affecting my training and practicing during the week, as I am trying to prevent any further damage to it while it is healing.

Despite a bad GP last week-end in Spain, you’re very strong at the moment with 2 GP podiums in a row in the previous rounds. Same thing last season, you performed your best results in the middle of the year. It seems you need some time in the season to get at your best level.

The GP racing season is very long, so in the winter months, when I do the majority of my training and riding, I am cautious not to 'peak' too soon in the season. The championship isn't won in only one or two races, and I think consistency and pacing myself pays off.

This year you’ve got a top-level teammate, Arnaud Tonus, right behind you in the standings. Is it more or less pressure for you to have such a second rider in the team ?

There is less pressure on me this year having Arnaud as a teammate. In previous years, I have been the only rider who could really make a good showing for the sponsors and for the team, so if I wasn't at my best, it wasn't good for the team. But now with a rider like Arnaud, even when I am not at my best, he can promote the team.

After Spain Steve Dixon said the competition is tough with the factory guys. You’ve been the best MX2 private rider for two seasons now, are you looking at factory bikes for the next years to battle for the red plate ?

Last year I had several opportunities to ride factory bikes, but I declined because I am playing an important role in the development of the Cosworth engine. I have a really good team and good people around me who are very supportive at the best and worst times. I think it is more than the bike that brings success, but also having a good team atmosphere. My bike is good enough to win.

We’re at 50% of the season now. For the upcoming weeks, what are the tracks you will be waiting or dreading the most ?

My favorite track of the whole season is St Jean, but in the coming weeks I am looking forward to the British GP at Matterley Basin, as it will be like a second 'home GP' for me being that it is only 20 minutes from where I stay. The track that I am dreading the most is Lommel.

Ken Roczen made some mistakes in the last GPs but remains overall the man to beat in MX2. Do you think Jeffrey Herlings can make it to the world title this year ?

Ken Roczen is the man to beat this year, but we're only halfway through the season and anything can happen!