With a break in the action, here’s a look at the 250 East series 4 rounds in. Be sure to check out the 450 Mid Season report as well as the 250 West Mid Season report. It’s interesting to compare and contrast the results across the 3 different series.
Many experts had given this title to Shane McElrath after his seemingly dominate win in Tampa. However, if you’d read the Tampa Advanced Analytics column, then you know that he was only fastest in the straight away and sand segments. These segments aren’t typically on many tracks so his advantage in these segments was unlikely to be repeated. Looking at the stats more closely, it was readily apparent that Chase Sexton, RJ Hampshire, Jeremy Martin, and Jordon Smith were all still contenders. They simply didn’t get the start that Shane McElrath did on that night and clearly weren’t prepared for sand.
Unlike the 450 and 250 West series where the title contenders have opposing strengths, the 250 East series has 2 riders that have separated themselves from the others, Chase Sexton and Shane McElrath. These two riders own almost every important stat and very little separates them other than 10 points.
I hope you enjoy the mid-season update and as always, drop me a line on Twitter or Instagram @3lapsdown with any questions. If you’ve got any ideas for analysis during this downtime, don’t be shy!
3 KEY STATS OF THE SEASON, SO FAR…
1. FIRST LAP POSITION
All 3 winners, Chase Sexton (GEICO Honda), Shane McElrath (Monster Energy Star Racing Yamaha), and Garrett Marchbanks (Monster Energy Pro Circuit Kawasaki) have rounded lap one in 2nd position or better in the races they have won. Conversely, they’ve average 3rd, 5th, and 9th in the races they did not win.
Just like the 450 and 250 West series, it’s vitally important you round the first lap in podium position if you want to win. The only riders to win from outside the podium in 2020 are Eli Tomac and Dylan Ferrandis.
2. RACE +/-
Consistency has been the key in the 250 East series. Both Chase Sexton and Shane McElrath have a perfect +4 Race +/- so far. RJ Hampshire, currently 3rd in points, has a 0 Race +/- after losing positions in both Atlanta and Daytona. Garrett Marchbanks and Jeremy Martin each have a +2 Race +/-. Marchbanks only dropped 1 position in Atlanta to lose a perfect stat. Martin was in great position in Atlanta but a crash dropped him -15 positions to lose a perfect stat. It’s these errors, big and small, that cost significantly in a championship battle.
3. WHOOPS SPEED
The GEICO Honda riders have dominated the whoops segment at every round. Looks like Factory Connection does indeed have the best suspension. Period. Chase Sexton and Jeremy Martin have been fastest in 2 whoops segments each. Not only that, only RJ Hampshire has broken their place of securing fastest AND 2nd fastest in the whoops segment.
While Garrett Marchbanks has shown great speed and gotten his first win in Daytona, looking at the whoops segment times highlights an area of opportunity. He’s averaging 6th in the whoops segments. This helps explain why he was so good in Daytona where the whoops weren’t nearly as difficult come the main events.