In Supercross racing the athletes have progressed nearly every aspect of the sport. Even, sometimes, crashing.
The 450SX Class Main Event at the Orlando Supercross this past Saturday was a perfect example of some of the best riders in the world pushing the ragged edge of control. Some riders went past theirs, their bikes, and even the track’s limit… and a few of those riders managed to reel things back in before hitting the stadium floor.
Saturday’s 450SX Class Main Event started with Husqvarna rider Zach Osborne grabbing the lead early. Osborne had yet to replicate his round 17 performance from last year where the popular racer grabbed his first premier class win, but round seven of 2021 looked like his chance to tally up another victory.
But on the second pass through the track’s whoops section his bike kicked and he lost his balance. He lost drive but managed to keep the bike largely upright, though falling slowly and uncontrollably left. Still off-balance, Osborne jumped over the next step-over jump and used a left turn’s rut to brace off of and keep himself on the bike. He lost two positions immediately, and a third shortly after.
Later in this same race, Osborne ran in fourth place and was on the rear tire of the opening-round winner, GASGAS’ Justin Barcia. Barcia got wildly sideways (even for his own very loose riding style) and actually did come off the bike. His hands stayed on the bars, and with balance, strength, a little luck, and some running alongside his machine, Barcia miraculously didn’t hit the ground other than his boot soles. Osborne was in position to be the beneficiary this time and he earned back one of the positions he had lost in the same section to finish on the podium in Orlando, his first of the year.
Some riders follow the belief, ‘If the grips don’t get dirty it wasn’t a crash,’ though that phrase is usually applied to off-road riding and slow-speed tip-overs. It’s quite another thing to add a complete dismount to one of the toughest sections on a Supercross track and still come out with the grips spotless.
This season’s racing has been one thrilling twist after another. The unique limitations of all spectator events this year have resulted in a season that involves four triple-header, two double-headers, and one stand-alone venue events. Spectators are allowed in attendance at a limited capacity and in a pod-style seating arrangement. This Saturday, the second of the Orlando rounds take place at Camping World Stadium. Tickets for the FanFest daytime event and the evening race are available, as well as for future rounds up through the Atlanta races. For ticket information, the full race schedule, and broadcast times on the Peacock app and NBCSN, please visit the Schedule & Tickets page.