Zach Osborne retires from Supercross, Motocross after winning 2020 championship

Zach Osborne retires
Align Media

After nine seasons in Supercross and Motocross in the 250 and 450 classes, Zach Osborne announced his retirement from motorcycle racing. After a career highlighted by a 450 and 250 championship in motocross and two 250 titles in Supercross East, Osborne, 32, is retiring after suffering multiple back injuries.

“I’m officially retiring from professional Supercross and Motocross racing,” Osborne announced on Instagram. “It’s been an amazing ride and one that I wouldn’t change for anything as it’s gotten me to right here where I sit today!

“I’m forever grateful for opportunities from great individuals, companies and teams to have the best equipment and relationships to perform at the highest level and become a champion of the sport.

“I’ve achieved more than I ever imagined or even dreamed of as a child. There were plenty of lows in my day where I thought even a factory ride of any sort was out of the question let alone winning championships not only in the 250 class but in the 450 class as well. I’ve had an amazing run and even though it isn’t ending exactly how I would’ve wanted, I can say I’m content. I’ve poured my heart and soul into the last 16 years of professional racing as has my wife, Brittney Osborne, and even my kids.”

Even though it ended sooner than he wanted. Osborne was able to exit after recently achieving the pinnacle of his career.

Osborne was riding high in 2020 with his most recent championship.

That season will be remembered as one marked by the restructure of the schedule by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. It will also be remembered as the season that Osborne went from winning his first motocross race to the championship in short order.

Osborne’s first pair of wins came in a doubleheader at Loretta Lynn’s Ranch, which was pressed into service for the first time in its history as host of a National because of the pandemic.

Osborne won twice more that season, at Red Bud in Buchanan, Mich. and WW Motocross Ranch in Jacksonville, Fla. In the nine-round season, Osborne finished in the top five seven times.

The 2021 season was spoiled by injury. After standing on the podium at Orlando in his seventh Main of the season, he was slowed and ultimately forced off the track following six rounds. He attempted to come back for the motocross season, but made only two Mains with a 10th at Fox Raceway in May and 16th at Thunder Valley in June.


SuperMotocross set to introduce Leader Lights beginning with the World Championship finals


In a continuing effort to help fans keep track of the on track action, SuperMotocross is in the process of developing and implementing leader lights for the unified series.

Currently Supercross (SMX) utilizes stanchions in the infield that are triggered manually by a race official. At least two stanchions are used in each race as a way to draw the eye to the leader, which is especially useful in the tight confines of the stadium series when lapping often begins before the halfway mark in the 22-bike field. This system has been in place for the past two decades.

Later this year, a fully automated system will move to the bike itself to replace the old system. At that point, fans will be able to identify the leader regardless of where he is on track.

The leader lights were tested in the second Anaheim round this year. An example can be seen at the 1:45 mark in the video above on the No. 69 bike.

“What we don’t want to do is move too fast, where it’s confusing to people,” said Mike Muye, senior director of operations for Supercross and SMX in a press release. “We’ve really just focused on the leader at this point with the thought that maybe down the road we’ll introduce others.”

Scheduled to debut with the first SuperMotocross World Championship race at zMax Dragway, located just outside the Charlotte Motor Speedway, a 3D carbon fiber-printed LED light will be affixed to each motorcycle. Ten timing loops positioned around the track will trigger the lights of the leader, which will turn green.

SMX’s partner LiveTime Scoring helped develop and implement the system that has been tested in some form or fashion since 2019.

When the leader lights are successfully deployed, SuperMotocross will explore expanding the system to identify the second- and third-place riders. Depending on need and fan acceptance, more positions could be added.

SuperMotocross is exploring future enhancements, including allowing for live fan interaction with the lights and ways to use the lighting system during the race’s opening ceremony.