ANAHEIM, Calif. – Now that GEICO Honda teammates Eli Tomac and Wil Hahn have graduated to the next level, Zach Osborne and Zach Bell are ready to carry on the team’s championship tradition when the Monster Energy AMA Supercross 250SX West season gets under way on Saturday at Angel Stadium of Anaheim.
Both Osborne and Bell enter their second year riding a 250cc bike for GEICO Honda, but for Osborne the vibe surrounding A1 is something he has experience a few times before.
“This will be my fourth A1,” said Osborne, who in the past raced early Supercross events before going to compete in Europe. “I know there’s a lot of hype going in but I’ve got a good feeling. I’m really comfortable on where I’m at on the bike right now, so I’m looking forward to it.”
With a full, healthy off-season under his belt, Osborne is fit and ready to be a podium contender week in and week out.
“The last four weeks for me have been pretty hectic,” Osborne said. “I’ve been riding just about every day getting prepared for the season. I think it’s going to be good.”
Bell is eager to get racing after spending much of both the Supercross and Motocross seasons on the shelf recovering from injury. He focused on minimizing his mistakes during the off-season and is looking forward to applying what he has learned to a race day scenario.
“I’ve been doing a lot of training to try to build my speed,” Bell said. “Last year I had the speed but couldn’t keep it on two wheels. This year I’m trying to get myself more comfortable and consistent on the bike every week. I want to be a top five rider, but if that’s not there I want to make sure to finish the full 15 laps, not make the same mistakes I made last year, and keep improving from there.”
Part of the off-season regimen included some GEICO Honda scrimmages devised by team manager Mike LaRocco that featured all of the team’s riders together.
“The scrimmages were awesome,” Osborne said. “We had some really good motos with everyone. Then we’d switch it up and change the track up a little bit and do some fun stuff. It was beneficial for everyone on the team. It’s always good to put in your laps at high intensity with other riders on the track. It’s something hard to do in the off-season.
“It was intense but it remained friendly. We got a full benefit without smashing into each other.”
For Bell, the scrimmages were a good gauge of where his pace is at and where he can make improvements.
“It was a great way to learn,” Bell said. “It was a cool thing the team set up. I think it’s really going to help me once practice gets started at A1.”