The following is from Husqvarna Motorcycles GmbH:
Signing off on their 2016 racing season on a positive note, Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing team riders Zach Osborne, Christophe Charlier and Thomas Covington took Husqvarna Motorcycles to fourth overall at the 2016 Supermotocross Riders and Manufacturers Cup in Germany.
Taking place inside Germany’s renowned VELTINS-Arena, the first edition of the SMX Riders’s Cup saw some of the best motocross and supercross riders in the world go head to head, battling for their respective manufacturers. Holding on to the provisional runner-up spot after the second race, Husqvarna Motorcycles had to settle for fourth overall following Zach Osborne’s crash in the third and final moto.
Switching to Husqvarna’s FC 450 machine for this event, Osborne kicked off the evening posting the third fastest time during the Superpole session. Getting a good start in the opening moto the American battled hard and went on to cross the line third. After another good start in moto two, he came home sixth. Unfortunately, Zach got hit by another rider right off the start in moto three and was unable to finish the night’s final moto.
Despite limited time back on his FC 450 machine following injury, Christophe Charlier was fast and impressively consistent throughout the night. Finding his way closer to the top after bad starts, the Frenchman collected three 10th place results to wrap up the night with ninth overall in the Riders’ final classification.
For Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Thomas Covington, things didn’t exactly go as the American hoped. One of the fastest 250F riders around the sandy track, Thomas made mistakes and suffered falls in each of the three motos. With a best result of 14th in the opening race Thomas finished 20th and 18th in the remaining two races respectively.
Representing Husqvarna Motorcycles as the team’s Joker 19-year-old Thomas Kjer Olsen posted the 12th and 15th fastest times in the two free practice sessions. Qualifying for the event’s final he was unable to finish the opening moto.
Zach Osborne: “I enjoyed racing this event a lot. I did my best and got away with a third and a sixth in the first two motos. Unfortunately, someone hit me right off the start in moto three and I found myself on the floor without actually knowing what had happened. It’s a bit of a bummer as at that point we were fighting for second overall as a team. It is what it is. We had a strong team I believe and we showed that on the track. Christophe was super consistent and if it wasn’t for my crash we could have easily walked away with the runner-up spot. For me this was a pretty special event as I got to see lots of familiar faces again. I had a blast and I’m looking forward to racing again in Europe when the opportunity comes.”
Christophe Charlier: “It’s been a good night for us. Despite my bad starts I was consistently fast throughout the evening and managed to get inside the top 10 in each of the three motos. It’s not bad at all, especially considering I spent more than two months away from my bike after my injury. I got back on the bike and started straining almost a week ago. Tonight I struggled a bit with my fitness, but the speed was there and that’s very positive. I gave it pushing hard until the finish of each race and I’m satisfied with the final result.”
Thomas Covington: “My speed was great tonight and I knew I could be the fastest 250F rider. Unfortunately, things didn’t go our way in terms of our results. I battled with my starts and suffered one too many crashes. The hardest race for me was the second one. Our crash with Herlings damaged my gear lever so I had to ride the rest of the race in second gear. It definitely wasn’t the end to the season I was looking for but it gives me some extra motivation to work harder in the off-season. Our focus now is the 2017 world championship and I’ll do my best to be 100% ready when it starts.”