The 2017 Rockstar Husqvarna team was originally
composed of 450 riders Jason Anderson and Christophe
Pourcel alongside 250 riders Martin Davalos and Zach
Osborne. The gamble with this type of team makeup was
that if Davalos or Osborne got hurt, Husqvarna’s chances
in the 250 East or West could be wiped out. But, this
wasn’t Rockstar’s biggest gamble in 2017. The big risk
was hiring old guys to build their team. The average age
of the Rockstar team will be 28 years old by season’s end.
Only Jason Anderson is under the age of 25.
How has the gamble of experience over youth paid off
for Rockstar Husqvarna (discounting Anderson)?
Christophe Pourcel, 28, is the most accomplished of the
three veteran riders. But, his last championship was the
2010 AMA 250 East title. It’s no secret that the former
2006 FIM 250 World Champion has been phoning it in
for the last few years. A fast, talented and savvy racer,
Pourcel (shown here) has been sandbagging his way to
mediocre finishes his whole time at Husqvarna. In 33
races on the Husky, Pourcel has only scored five top-five
finishes. Four races into the 2017 series, Pourcel was
benched (and reassigned to the Canadian Nationals), and
Dean Wilson was brought in to replace him. The Pourcel
gamble was a disaster for Husky.
Martin Davalos, 30, has become a running joke among
motocross fans for having been in the 250 East/West
support class for 11 years. He didn’t win a single event
for eight years and managed to avoid pointing out of
the 250 Supercross class by failing to score 135 points
over any three seasons. He scored a tantalizingly close
133 points in 2013, 149 points in 2014 and 141 points in
2016. As a rider, Martin Davalos has historically been a
bad gamble—because he wants to stay in the 250 class.
Zach Osborne, 29, is another 11-year-veteran of the 250
Supercross class (although he has gone to Europe for
three Supercross series). In his third year at Husqvarna,
Osborne may be the best gamble that Rockstar made;
he’s getting better with age.