The Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing team looked motivated to make an impact at the seventh round of AMA Supercross, held at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, on February 20, 2016. Zach Osborne and Jason Anderson each earned heat race wins and podium finishes in 250 and 450, respectively, while teammate Christophe Pourcel showed speed after qualifying third fastest in 450.
Jason Anderson wanted to focus on getting a great start after finishing outside the podium the past few races. The Arlington track was tight to manoeuvre but, after starting third in his heat, he threw his Husqvarna FC 450 in to the mix to fight for the win. He made the pass for the lead at the end of the first lap, and dominated the remainder of the race to earn his first heat race victory of 2016. Anderson knew he had some work to do after pulling a sixth-place start in the main. He stayed focused and was in fourth by the halfway mark before making the pass for the third-place podium position with five laps to go where he finished.
“The heat race win was a big deal for me,” said Anderson. “I’m usually not very good at those. I was probably in 80 per cent of the semis last year, so to get that win tonight was awesome. I got a good jump in the main, but so did two other riders. I was able to go with them into the first turn and just stay there. I’m pumped because I got the start and then did what I was supposed to do with it. I do wish I could have started just a little farther ahead so I could have sprinted away with those guys, but being in the top five is a good goal for me. I feel like I’m in a good spot.”
Zach Osborne already had two 250SX West heat race wins under his belt, and he came out of the gate looking to earn another. After recuperating from a big crash in practice, he started second in his heat before quickly moving into the lead. He held strong to claim his third heat win this year. He pulled a fourth-place start in the main aboard his Husqvarna FC 250 and occupied the third-place position shortly thereafter. His consistency was rewarded with a spot on the podium after finishing third.
Christophe Pourcel qualified third fastest in Arlington and earned a top 10 finish in the main. — Simon Cudby photo
“I had a pretty big crash in the second practice,” said Osborne, “so I was a little nervous going into the night, especially because I hadn’t ridden all week. I got a great start in my heat race and won so that turned things around for me. I ended up on the podium in the main and was right in the mix. It’s definitely a good way to go into the break. I’m going to focus on getting my ribs healthy and then I’ll be back for more.”
Christophe Pourcel qualified third fastest in Arlington, and has qualified in the top seven every race so far this season. He started fifth in his heat before quickly moving into the lead. He was followed by a freight train of talent looking to make the pass for the top spot. He conceded the position with two laps to go and finished in second. Pourcel started ninth in the main and stayed within the top 10 range for the remainder of the race before advancing to the eighth-place position for the finish.
“There are so many good guys in this class,” said Pourcel. “I knew it would be tough. It’s probably the most stacked year ever. I just have to accept where I am, and it’s tough sometimes. I haven’t raced supercross in five years, and it’s kind of scary at times because everyone is so close to each other. You have to be aggressive to make a pass, which isn’t necessarily my style but I’m finally feeling confident to be more aggressive. I’m technically a rookie in this class, but I’m trying to adapt. I still think I made a big step tonight. The goal was to be in the top 10, and I did that so it’s good. I had the speed in practice and almost won a heat race. I think I finally proved that I can ride with those guys tonight.”