Zach Osborne and Dylan Ferrandis have taken control of their respective championship series.
Prior to the season start, I posted on Instagram “…the real question is whether he’s [Zach Osborne] a potential championship contender alongside Tomac, Roczen, Musquin, and Webb?!”. It only took one round for Zach Osborne to make it clear he was a contender when he own the second moto and the overall. Today, Zach Osborne made it clear this championship is his to lose. With perfect 1-1 moto scores, Osborne extended his championship lead to +29 points over Adam Cianciarulo. He also served notice that he can run two full 30 minute motos in the toughest conditions.
With a full moto lead, Osborne is now in full control of the championship and he’s clearly ready for the last 4 motos. On the podium, Osborne said “today was a big day for me to stop the momentum and turn it around in my direction, and um, here we are with two rounds to go… it’s on”. Thing is, he’s been “on” and leading the championship since the first round. Assuming he wins this championship, he’ll be the 15th rider to win the premier class series wire-to-wire.
Here are the other riders who have accomplished wire-to-wire championships in the premier class…
- Bob Hannah (1978-79)
- Kent Howerton (1980-81)
- Jeff Ward (1985)
- Rick Johnson (1986-87)
- Jean-Michel Bayle (1991, was tied Rd 1)
- Jeff Stanton (1992)
- Mike Kiedrowski (1993)
- Mike Larocco (1994)
- Jeremy McGrath (1995)
- Jeff Emig (1997)
- Ricky Carmichael (2002-05)
- James Stewart (2008)
- Ryan Villopoto (2013)
- Ken Roczen (2016)
While Dylan Ferrandis has not led every round of the 250 class like Zach Osborne, his Star Racing Yamaha team continues to be the dominate bike. They’ve been the fastest qualifier in 6 of 7 rounds, grabbed 12 of 14 holeshots, led 62% (142 of 230) of the laps,, have 21 motos with laps led, 8 moto wins, and 3 overall wins. The Star Racing Yamaha has simply been the bike of the class and their domination of qualifying, holeshots, laps led and wins is a clear an emphatic testament to that fact.
That said, Dylan Ferrandis has been the superstar of the team. He’s responsible for 4 of the 6 fastest qualifiers, 1 holeshot, 99 of the 142 laps led, 117 of the position changes, 7 of the 8 moto wins, and all of the overall wins. Ferrandis has taken the bike and put it to good use. Not that his team mates Shane McElrath, Justin Cooper, and Ty Masterpool haven’t shown brilliance, it’s just that Ferrandis has been the that much better.
Looking deeper at these team stats highlights just how much Dylan Ferrandis and Jeremy Martin have dominated this series. For starters, they account for 11 of the 14 moto wins and 6 of the 7 overall wins. They’ve also led 63% of the laps (144 of 230) and are ranked 1 and 2 in Race +/-. These two riders, at 26 ad 27 years old, are showing the ‘kids’ how it’s done.
But more recently we’re seeing Dylan Ferrandis separate himself as the clear title favorite. Through the first 5 rounds, Jeremy Martin was on par to Dylan Ferrandis. Ferrandis had led 47 laps, won 3 motos, and won 1 overall and Martin had led 45 laps, won 4 motos, and won 3 overalls. Martin had the slight edge but for the most part they were neck and neck. That’s changed in the last 2 rounds.
Combining the last two rounds, Ferrandis has led 52 laps to J Martin’s 0 and Ferrandis as won all 4 motos and 2 overalls to J Martin’s 0. With two rounds remaining, the momentum and points are in favor of Ferrandis, not unlike the 450 class where Osborne has taken back control and the momentum is in his favor.
Be sure to check out the stats below. I’ve hidden at least one gem in there. Hope you enjoyed this weeks column. Questions, comments, or bench racing, drop me a line on Instagram or Twitter @3lapsdown.
- 450 RACE STATS
- Max Anstie (Twisted Tea HEP Suzuki) takes the Privateer Spotlight this week after an incredible ride in the first moto to come from 40th position back to finish 13th (+27 positions). Alas, 38.8% of PulpMX Fantasy players all were impressed yet bummed as he was one position out of double points. Being a fan is tough!
- Eli Tomac (Monster Energy Kawasaki) got just his 3rd overall podium of the season and became only the 5th rider in premier class history to grab 50 podiums (Carmichael, Dungey, Windham, and Larocco have more).
- Chase Sexton was fastest qualifier for the third time this week but has only 3 moto podiums and 1 overall podium. He’s got 2 rounds remaining to grab his 1st career moto or overall win. Can he be the third rider to get an overall win this year?
- Zach Osborne hasn’t been fastest qualifier once but has double the amount of moto and overall wins vs. any competitor.
- Anyone else notice the limited depth of competition (11 factory riders vs. 17 in the 250’s) as a result of the mounting injuries?!
- 250 RACE STATS
- Star Racing Yamaha has grabbed 6 of 7 fastest qualifier awards and 12 of the 14 holeshots. No wonder they have a roster that’s 48 deep and amateurs are bailing on contracts to join the team.
- Shane McElrath (Star Racing Yamaha) has a -2 Race +/-. In those 7 motos he’s finished 4-6-3-2-1-7-7 for an average of 3.7, just off the podium and a -3 Race +/-. He’s also led 7 motos (tied for the most) but only has one moto win. For a 7 year veteran of the class on the best equipment, I’m sure these are not the results he was expecting.
- Jett Lawrence (GEICO Honda) continues to impress as a 17 year old rookie. He got his best moto finish with a 2nd and finished 4th overall for the second weekend in a row. Assume he improves his 9th ranked 1st lap position of 10th and he’s likely contending for podiums every moto.
- Brandon Hartranft (TLD Red Bull KTM) had another come from behind ride in the first moto, rounding lap 1 in 32 position and moving forward +19 positions for 13th place.
- Derek Drake, Jalek Swoll, and Mason Gonzales all caused fantasy managers heartache when they didn’t line up for moto 2. #leagueofregret