The second round of eight in the 2010 Maxxis British Championship presented a difficult challenge for Bike it Cosworth Yamaha’s Zach Osborne as the American star negotiated the rough and rutty Mallory Park circuit with a chest infection to finish sixth overall.
Osborne, who had won the series opener two weeks ago at Little Silver in England’s south-east, faced a tough ask at the former British Grand Prix venue in the Midlands, especially with rain on Saturday creating demanding conditions. A guest appearance by Grand Prix rival Ken Roczen also meant that the pace would be hot. The 20 year old still managed to show impressive speed on the Cosworth powered Bike it Yamaha YZ250F and was just 0.2 seconds away from the German after qualification.
Struggling for breath in the first of three 20 minute and 2 lap motos, Osborne was running second and then slipped to fourth before a rock dislodged his chain and he was forced to retire with just two laps remaining. The second race was brighter and the ’338′ machine headed the pack for four laps but was eventually passed by a fully fit Roczen and his team-mate Arnaud Tonus. In the final race 2009 Turkish Grand Prix winner Osborne again briefly led the race after a clear hole-shot and was happy to collect third place – and some valuable points after his bad luck earlier in the day – in what was a hard fought last charge to the finish line. He is now second in the standings by just nine points with a further six events remaining.
‘I knew I was going to struggle with my chest,’ he said. ‘I am on antibiotics and should really rest but the season has already started and you just have to get on with it. I was disappointed about losing 18 points in the first moto but that’s racing and it can happen to anyone. I’m now 9 points down on Jake Nicholls for the lead so it’s not too bad after having a DNF.’
‘My bike is really good so that gives me confidence and I must thank Cosworth and the team for their hard work,’ he added. ‘Roczen rode well and I wish I could have made it more of a race for him; we passed each other in the first race a few times but that was it. He is good to race with and I am looking forward to Bulgaria in two weeks when the World championship starts.’
Mel Pocock was tenth overall with a best finish of sixth in the second moto. The British teenager, starting his third season with the team, made some mistakes in his three appearances but his run in the second race of the day showed that his speed is currently high and he is competitive. Team-mate Ed Allingham caught his gear lever in a rut in the first moto which prematurely ended his participation but was steady in the following two races for sixteenth and fourteenth, thus seventeenth at the end of the day. MX1 representative Jason Dougan was ninth in the classification. The Briton had a demanding opening pair of races and cut through the field to reach seventh and eighth. His exertions told a little in the final moto as he rode to tenth.
‘After the rain we were lucky the event was able to run and the ACU did a good job; the racing was good,’ said Team Manager Steve Dixon. ‘It was a shame to lose 18 points to a stone after Zach’s hard work but he is only 9 points behind Jake. It would have been nice to see Zach healthy to get a true idea of his form against Roczen but we will have to wait until the first few rounds of the World Championship to see how it pans out. One thing is for sure and that’s the World championship is going to be super competitive as all the teams and riders are working hard. I am really happy with Mel’s progress in speed and strength and it won’t be long before he is standing on the podium. Ed will take some time to turn his practice speed into race speed but we knew that from the start. Jason is showing terrific speed and whilst it’s good for the fans the positions are not reflecting his potential.’
Bike it Cosworth Yamaha will now begin last preparations for the 2010 FIM Motocross World Championship that will commence in less than two weeks with the Grand Prix of Bulgaria taking place at the Sevlievo circuit. The next round of the British series is at Duns in Scotland on May 2nd.