Sunday, April 14, 2024

Supercross Statistics | 2024 Anaheim 2

by Matt
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Monster Energy Supercross provided off-road fans with the most pleasant present on Saturday – the first dry race in some time acted as an exquisite example of what the sport can offer. Breathtaking, magnificent and exceptional are just a handful of adjectives that could be used to describe the on-track action. It was unfeasible to note each point of interest that occurred on the stadium floor.

This ‘Supercross Statistics’ feature on Vital MX is designed to pave over the cracks and draw attention to points of interest that would have been missed. The two thousand words below will add additional layers to the viewing experience as the travelling circus that is 2024 Monster Energy Supercross marches on to the delight of the extensive fanbase.

  • Ken Roczen’s effectiveness in San Diego aided Suzuki in the bid for pole position and put Yamaha in qualification oblivion: all of the rival manufacturers had secured pole position more recently than the ‘blue’ squad. Justin Cooper took care of that seven days on and secured Yamaha’s first pole since the eleventh round of 2022’s Monster Energy Supercross season. It is now Husqvarna who has faced the longest drought – their last pole position was on 21 January 2023.
  • This is just the second time in the last 15 years that four different manufacturers have taken pole in the first four rounds. Stewart (Husqvarna), Eli Tomac (Yamaha), Jason Anderson (Kawasaki) and Chase Sexton (Honda) conquered qualification over the first four races of 2022’s Monster Energy Supercross term. It is Jett Lawrence (Honda), Aaron Plessinger (KTM), Roczen (Suzuki) and Cooper (Yamaha) who have done the same thus far this term.
Photo
Octopi Media
  • In a similar vein, when was the last time that there were four victors to start a season? Well, that was in 2022 too. Roczen, Anderson, Sexton and Tomac won to start the term. To demonstrate how parity can shed so quickly, Tomac won that championship with a round to spare and did not even start the season finale. It happened in 2021 too – Cooper Webb was crowned with an advantage of 35 points.
  • The fact that nine points cover the top five after four rounds best illustrates the equality at the top of the premier division. The last time that a statistic similar to this existed was in 2014’s Monster Energy Supercross series – fifth place was nine points adrift of the red plate at the conclusion of round four. Ryan Villopoto won the championship with 62 points in hand and was in management mode for much of the second half.
  • Webb won Anaheim 2 with just one lap led. This marked the third time in his career that he has stood atop the main event via one lap led (the others being round seven of 2019 and round three of 2015). This statistic reinforces what an artful racer Webb is. With just one lap led added to his total, Webb’s boosted his career total of laps led to 411. This puts him third amongst the current competitors, just behind Tomac (1068) and Roczen (714).
  • Sexton is in hot pursuit of Webb in terms of laps led – he led 14 in the first main event and so gained 13 on his recent foe. Sexton has led 388 laps in Monster Energy Supercross. Anaheim 2 was his 31st experience at the head of the pack at an indoor event. Webb has experienced that at 45 rounds, in contrast, so the former leads for longer (on average) when he does head the field. This again fits into the narrative of how Webb finds success.
  • Webb trails Roczen in career laps led, but he just pulled away in the win column. Anaheim 2 was his 22nd triumph in the premier division and therefore he pulled ahead of Roczen, who has stood on top of the podium on 21 different occasions. ‘2’ has sole possession of tenth on the all-time win list. Five more wins are needed to tie Bob Hannah for ninth. Webb has surpassed six wins in one season twice, both of those being title-winning seasons.
  • Anaheim 2 was the 121st time that Webb has appeared in the top ten in Monster Energy Supercross. Consider that he has only started 136 events – he has missed the top ten just 15 times in ten seasons. Even more impressive is the fact that he has been in the top five in 81 of his last 85 starts. The point of this is to underline that consistency remains his strength and that could prove to be so useful with the state of the current landscape.
Photo
Octopi Media
  • Note that Webb tends to be a slow starter in Monster Energy Supercross – he had won in January in just two seasons. Those were, unsurprisingly, his championship-winning terms. Is this a foreshadowing of what is to come? Consider that he won Anaheim 2 in those seasons too and there are many reasons for him to have wind beneath his wings as the circus ventures east for the first time. Momentum is a tool that carries such value.
  • Before moving onto some ideas that do not exist to bolster Webb’s ego, Anaheim 2 marked his 110th start in the premier division. The win helped boost his win percentage to 20% and podium percentage to 51% – his status in off-road sport grows with each term that passes. It is a shock of sorts to learn that he has now finished in first more than any other spot: he has finished in first 22 times and second 21 times. These numbers are exclusive to premier class competition.
  • Tomac had a turbulent time of it across the night show. A fact that best illustrates that is that he had the fastest lap time in the first main event, yet just the fifth best average. Tomac posted his best time on lap five, when he was making some impressive moves, but check the times from the latter part of the first stint in comparison to Anderson, who was just ahead. There was a notable drop off. Was that methodical to reserve steam for the following races?

 

Jason Anderson

Eli Tomac

Difference

Lap 08

58.572

58.150

+00.422

Lap 09

59.133

58.523

+00.610

Lap 10

58.784

59.137

-00.263

Lap 11

58.601

59.562

-00.961

Lap 12

58.193

58.818

-00.625

Lap 13

01:00.119

01:00.011

+00.108

  • Anderson’s push to pass Roczen placed the aforementioned point beneath more of a spotlight. Peruse the table below for a look at the progress that he made in the latter stages. Had he made a move on Roczen, not only would he have finished third in the moto but also the overall classification. The fifth sector was where he did the most damage – he had the quickest time there by more than two tenths. It was Roczen’s weakest area too.

 

Ken Roczen

Jason Anderson

Difference

Lap 09

58.862

59.133

-00.271

Lap 10

58.912

58.784

+00.128

Lap 11

59.475

58.601

+00.874

Lap 12

58.936

58.193

+00.743

Lap 13

58.720

01:00.119

-01.399

Lap 14

59.478

01:01.141

-01.663

  • Anderson reached a couple of milestones at Anaheim 2. It marked his 170th career start (inclusive of both classes) and 100th top five (84 in 450SX and 16 in 250SX). It was the first time that he has led a lap since the seventh event of 2022’s Monster Energy Supercross series too – the thirteen laps that he spent at the front of the pack boosted his career total to 360 laps led. 311 laps have been led in the 450SX class versus 49 in 250SX. Talk about a number overload!
Photo
Octopi Media
  • It should be noted that Anderson was just brilliant in the second main event – he sprinted away from the former winners behind him. The table below compares his lap times to Webb, who gave chase to Anderson for 13 of the 14 laps. Anderson did the best lap of the main event, which was 0.451 faster than anyone else, on lap three. It was the quicker lap of the night too. Is it possible that this was the best ride of his career?

 

Jason Anderson

Cooper Webb

Difference

Lap 02

58.662

59.502

-00.840

Lap 03

57.647

58.728

-01.081

Lap 04

58.055

58.661

-00.606

Lap 05

58.294

59.606

-01.312

Lap 06

58.081

58.862

-00.781

Lap 07

58.217

58.819

-00.602

  • This is the first time that Plessinger has had back-to-back podiums in the premier class – that was his sixth trophy. Even more surprising is that he has had successive podiums on just four occasions in his career and never secured more than three in a row. Perhaps this is some proof that most look at the past with rose tinted glasses? Plessinger remains the only rider to feature in the top five at every round of 2024 Monster Energy Supercross.
  • Sexton hit milestones in Anaheim. Not only did he appear inside of the top five for the 60th time, but he also appeared in the top ten for the 70th time (both numbers are inclusive of two classes). It is of interest that he has finished between sixth and tenth in just ten main events in his career. Is that proof that he is only ever restricted by mistakes that push him far down the order? Sexton has just missed the podium on successive weekends for the time since rounds 10 and 11 of 2022.
  • Justin Barcia has had a difficult start, thanks in part to a severe illness that has had more of an impact than most would think. Tenth is his average finish across four rounds – he has not started a term with such a low median since his rookie season in the premier division. Although Barcia won round two in that season, 2013, he did not finish rounds three or four and therefore had an average of 12th. ’51’ rebounded to take fifth in that championship.
  • Roczen has little to show for such brilliant speed across four rounds of competition, but he can hang his hat on the fact that Anaheim marked his 120th appearance in the top ten in a 450SX main event. Of the current competitors, only Tomac (151) has a better number. Barcia is nipping at Roczen’s heels with 117 top ten finishes. Note that Webb is not too far adrift with 98 – triple digits will likely be hit in just two weeks.

This post was originally published on this site

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