The sun was pretty much the only thing that shone for Utag Yamaha.com at the Loket circuit for the Grand Prix of Czech Republic and the thirteenth round of fifteen in the FIM Motocross World Championship. 21,000 spectators entered the venue under bright skies and decent temperatures as the Czech hard-pack provided the riders with a fast and slippery test. After two early race incidents Zach Osborne was unable to notch any points and Mel Pocock also struggled to find his speed.
The relatively simple layout of undulations across the Loket hillside forced a relentless set of races as both Osborne and Pocock had to be heavy on the throttles of their YZ250Fs, and desperately needed a bright pair of starts in the two motos to figure among the top ten at a track where the smallest mistake would be costly.
The American was set an immediate disadvantage on lap one of Moto 1 when he was knocked off his Utag Yamaha and had to remount far behind the disappearing pack. Amazingly a similar incident occurred in the opening stages of the next race as the Turkish GP winner rued another getaway deep in the throng of riders. Osborne would classify 25th by the end of the day with the only consolation of yet more race time in his recuperation from a broken wrist to take from his Czech Republic experience.
Pocock was dismissive of his performance. The teenager stayed on two wheels through both motos but admitted he failed to reach the required speed to break into the top twenty and was 27th overall; the first time he had failed to score points for three grand prix.
Osborne is 21st in the standings after missing more than half of the season. Pocock is ten places further behind.
In two weeks times the team face the penultimate round of the Maxxis British Championship at Duns in Scotland before immediately heading to Holland and the sandy Lierop circuit for the Grand Prix of the Netherlands and the last-but-one meeting on the FIM calendar.
Zach Osborne: “In the first race I had a decent start but was T-boned by Schiffer on the first lap. Everyone was going the same pace out there so it was hard to come through. In the second race I managed a whole lap and a couple of corners before I was taken out again. When I got up I did not have a front brake lever so it was pretty gnarly doing the rest of the race like that. I want to apologise to the team for the results, but I got some more time on the bike to try and come back to the pace and fitness that I know I can run.”
Mel Pocock: “I did not ride like I know I can and what I have shown in recent weeks. The track was slick and fast with gnarly squared-edge bumps. Basically I was not on the pace. My riding was not poor but my starts were, and overall it was a big learning experience.”