Eli Tomac (Monster Energy Kawasaki) is having a career year. Case in point, Eli is the only rider in the 450 class with a perfect Race +/- of 13. In every single race he’s either held or improved his position from the first lap to the finish. This stat is good for highlighting if riders are consistently moving forward/backward and generally manage races well. For reference, the rider with the season best Race +/- has won the championship in 3 out of the last 5 seasons. As we all know, in past seasons Eli has one or two bad races and that’s simply not been the case through 13 rounds this year. This weekend was yet another race where Eli demonstrated poise under pressure, he gained positions, and he now sits with a full race +26 point lead with 4 rounds remaining.
Sticking with Race +/-, Cooper Webb (Red Bull KTM) has an 11. He had one race, Round 8 in Arlington, where he finished in a worse position than he started and that cost him significant points. Finishing on the podium more than any other rider hasn’t helped him overcome that mistake either. You simply can’t make big mistakes and win championships.
Unfortunately, Friday, Ken Roczen (Honda HRC) confirmed that he’s dealing with respiratory issues that started with an illness back in November/December. For the series and fans, but especially Ken, it’s a tough blow. He’s worked tirelessly to make a comeback from career ending injuries and you have to feel for him. Dropping -5 positions after rounding the first lap in 5th position is not what you’d expect from the title contender who now has a season Race +/- of 5. Unlike Cooper Webb with one bad race, Ken has 4 different races (A2, OAK, DYT, SLC3) where he’s lost 1 or 2 key positions. Most importantly, on 3 of these occasions Eli Tomac passed him en route to wins (A2, OAK, DYT). While those rounds loomed large in the points after Daytona, it looks like elevation will ultimately ruin his championship bid.
In the 250 series, Chase Sexton regained sole possession of the red plate with what looks like a dominate stat line (1st in qualifying, 1st holeshot of the season, 2nd on the 1st lap, led 12 laps, and took the win). However, it was an tough night and he lucked out with a red flag that reset the race and gave him a second attempt. Before the red flag, he had lost the lead and fallen in the span of 3 corners. It was not looking goof for his title hopes. Nonetheless, he now goes into a week break with a small 3 point championship lead.
Check out the key stats and box scores for each class below. As always, drop me a line on Twitter or Instagram @3lapsdown with any questions or just to bench race. Hope you enjoy the analysis.
450 KEY STATS
- Malcolm Stewart followed up last weeks first heat race win with his first Top 5 finish. Malcolm is having a career year and showing he’s got podium potential. #mookiefever
- Zach Osborne is now tied with ken Roczen for the most holeshots on the season with 5. He’s taken the honors the last two rounds and it’s led to some great results.
- Jason Anderson got his 4th podium of the year and has closed the gap to 4th in the series standings to just 10 points.
- Justin Barcia has averaged 8th place since the series restart in Salt Lake City after averaging 4th place in the first 10 rounds of the season. Once an outside shot for the championship, he’s now at risk of slipping back to 5th in the championship.
450 BOX SCORE
250 KEY STATS
- The winner of all 7 rounds has rounded the first lap in either 1st or 2nd position. Shane McElrath, Chase Sexton, and Garrett Marchbanks have made the racing relatively boring.
- Chase Sexton (GEICO Honda) is the only rider with a perfect Race +/- of 7. It’s possible we’ll look back at that red flag and Shane’s tip over from contact with a back rider as pivotal to the championship.
- Pierce Brown (Troy Lee Designs Red Bull KTM) rounded the first lap in 5th position and went on to finish 4th. Excluding some tough luck in the last two rounds, he’s making a bid for rookie of the year honors.
250 BOX SCORE