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Jan 05, 2014 - 06:25 AM
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Osborne Climbs Podium In Anaheim, Leads GEICO Honda Charge At Season-Opener
Posted by: newsla on Jan 05, 2014 - 06:24 AM
Osborne Climbs Podium In Anaheim, Leads GEICO Honda Charge At Season-Opener

Showing great speed, a fighting spirit, and a good dose of patience, GEICO Motorcycle Honda pro Zach Osborne was the star of Saturday's season-opening AMA Supercross race at Angel Stadium of Anaheim, bringing home a podium finish in 250SX West action to lead his championship-caliber race team.


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Osborne went toe to toe with Scotland's Dean Wilson for much of the main event, swapping third place with his rival several times before pulling away for good with just two laps left. The finish equals Osborne's best result of the entire 2013 SX campaign.

"I'm super happy with the way the day went," Osborne said. "I had a lot of fun riding, and that's something I want to repeat throughout the season. It's important to enjoy this journey, and starting the season on the podium is great for everyone on this team.

"I felt way faster than what I showed in the main. (Wilson and I) went back and forth so hard and I wanted to race him clean, so we were really in a battle. That allowed (winner Jason Anderson and runner-up Cole Seely) to pull away from us. It reached a point where I knew I needed to just be smart, get third, and secure these points."

The day wasn't as much fun for Osborne's 250SX teammate Zach Bell or 450SX riders Wil Hahn and Eli Tomac.

Bell rode to a 15th-place result, and Hahn overcame a slow start and managed to work his way up to 11th in his first 450SX race. Unfortunately, Tomac injured his left shoulder during qualifying and was unable to race in the main event.

"The decision not to race was the hardest one I've ever had to make," said Tomac, who reported having a pinched nerve that rendered his left arm numb. "I just have no strength in my arm and shoulder, and I knew I wouldn't be able to hold onto the bike. It would have been dangerous, and I might have hurt myself even more.

"The best thing to do is get some rest, keep this thing iced up to get the swelling down, and hope I can ride next weekend in Arizona. This certainly isn't the way I wanted to start the year, but I guess it could have been worse."

Hahn and Bell had their moments during the day, including Hahn leading the semifinal qualifying race from start to finish, but ultimately both riders wanted more from the event.

"I made a lot of little mistakes today," Hahn said. "The semi was great because I got out front and was able to ride my lines, but when we got around to the main I just didn't give myself a chance because my start was off. Then I made some mistakes in the first few laps, and I ended up back there mid-pack where the bad stuff happens.

"I stayed with it and started feeling stronger and faster as the race went along. I made some solid passes and got up to 11th. I'm not happy with that result, but I have some good things to build off."

Likewise, Bell sees room for improvement as the tour shifts to Phoenix.

"Today went OK," Bell said. "I made it through without any injuries, so that's a positive step.

"The earlier stuff I did in practice and qualifying was all pretty positive and I was ready to ride in the main. For some reason my goggles fogged up right before the start and I couldn't see anything. I ended up starting dead last, and I just rode the best I could.

"I kept wiping them off but I really couldn't see much for the first couple of laps. I kept going through the tear-offs, and it finally cleared a bit after that. I did have one little bobble and went down but was able to get right back up and finish. I think I was 10th at that point, which ended up being the highest spot for me."

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