For months, speculation around Zach Osborne’s future remained in jeopardy. The Rockstar Energy Husqvarna rider still had a year left on his deal with the team, but a back injury was raising many questions about whether Osborne would be able to go for 2022. The 2020 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship tried to race through the injury at the beginning of Pro Motocross back in May, but ultimately was left sidelined for the remainder of the year while he worked through the issues.
With retirement seeming like a real possibility, it was unclear when Osborne was set to make a decision. But now we know he will not be retiring and is instead sizing up a full-time return in 2022. According to our Steve Matthes, Osborne’s back issue, which is an ongoing problem Zach has been dealing with for some time, has progressed better than initially expected and opened up the opportunity for a comeback.
Zach Osborne, who told people he was going to retire due to back issues, is indeed racing next year as his condition improved more than he thought. He'll also be leaving Baker's Factory & going t0 83 Compound to train.— Steve Matthes (@pulpmx) October 5, 2021
If Osborne is able to make a full return, he will be joined with a fresh face under the semi as Malcolm Stewart agreed to join the Rockstar Energy Husqvarna team on a two-year deal in early September. He may also be joined by long-time teammate Dean Wilson, but Wilson’s deal is currently up, and it’s not known at this time if Husqvarna will be bringing him back.
As for Osborne, his 2021 season as a whole was a rough one on the heels of his monumental 450 Class title in 2020. A practice crash at the opening round at supercross put him on the back foot immediately and he was only able to pull in one podium finish from the eight starts he made in supercross. But if he is able to get back to full strength like we saw in 2020, Osborne certainly factors as a big player in the front-runners for 2022.
"I’m just super grateful to have the opportunity to make a comeback and be able to race my last year like I always wanted to," said Osborne. "This year was dismal especially after the success of 2020 so to have a chance for redemption is nice. My best work has always been done at some of my lower points of my career and I believe I still have a lot to offer as racer so I’m beyond excited to see what 2022 has in store and go out in style!"