Cycle News

Cycle News Issue 43 October 31, 2017

Cycle News is a weekly magazine that covers all aspects of motorcycling including Supercross, Motocross and MotoGP as well as new motorcycles

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VOL. 54 ISSUE 43 OCTOBER 31, 2017 P121 season. As a pundit myself, I've seen a lot of racers who ride hard and show consistency, but win very little. The first guy I can think of like that was Timmy Ferry. Ferry was a great rider, and his résumé is in the top one per- cent of anybody who ever raced professional motocross, but sometimes it seemed almost like he was immune to winning. Even when he won his 1997 125cc Eastern Regional Supercross Championship, he did it without winning a single main event! But still, Ferry won a Motocross of Nations as a member of Team USA, and was always some- where near the front, either on the box, or just off of it. His te- nacity made him one of the first guys ever to lose a factory ride, race as a privateer, and then get another factory ride again. Before Timmy Ferry, this never happened. Once you lost a fac- tory ride, you never got another shot. His consistency made him a great anchor on a factory team, because the teams knew that even if their star rider (in his case, Chad Reed, David Vuil- lemin or James Stewart would qualify as the stars on teams he was on) was hurt, they'd still have Ferry putting in podium finishes. Another guy like that is Brett Metcalfe. "Metty" could finish fourth place in any AMA National moto, on any brand of motor- cycle, against any competition. I bet he still could. But there was always something about Metcal- fe that kept him from taking that next step to the podium. What I'm saying is that, nor- mally, once a racer has been around for about 10 years or so, like Zach Osborne, without winning a whole lot (or anything), usually that's just how they end up. They end up being a top-five guy who fights for podiums, but who will never win many (if any) races, and never win any major titles. (Ferry won a title, but it was very early on.) I think there's a reason for this: We all only have so much hope, or self-belief. After five or seven or 10 years of finish- ing third, fourth or fifth, I think most racers just come to believe that's where they belong. It's not a conscious choice. It's just where they end up. Finishing there, they make a decent living, usually start a family by about 10 years in or so, and things just kind of roll along. But Zach Osborne didn't do that. Zach Osborne kept push- ing and pushing and pushing. Year after year, he kept push- ing. On the outside, I (along with most others, I assume) just figured he was going to be like Ferry or Metcalfe. And this isn't a criticism, to be clear. Timmy Ferry and Brett Metcalfe are/ were great racers. They just didn't win a whole lot. Only one guy can win at a time, after all. But then Osborne won his first supercross in Atlanta, and repeated in Toronto, overcame some difficulties in Daytona to finish fifth, then won again in Indianapolis. He was on a roll. Then came Detroit, when he suffered a broken front wheel in a first-turn melee and ended up scoring three points on the night. And we all know about the astounding ride Osborne put in at the finale in Las Vegas to take the Eastern Regional Champion- ship home, right? From there, riding a high, Osborne went on to win the outdoor title, too. Prior to 2017, Osborne had won one AMA National, with a 4-1 in the mud of Budds Creek in 2016. But in 2017, even when things went bad—like they did when his bike started spitting smoke at Mill- ville, or when he went down in the first turn at Budds Creek in the first moto–they didn't go that bad. In both of those motos I mentioned, he finished eighth, then won moto two and ended up on the box. Sometimes, people seem destined to win. But with Os- borne, if it were destiny, you'd think it would've happened a decade ago. It was something else. CN

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