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After a relatively calm weekend in Oakland, there's not a lot of change in the 450SX season predictions. Ryan Dungey has extended his margin, naturally. And Ken Roczen continues to hold on to the 2nd spot. Eli Tomac edges out Chad Reed for #3, but they're in a virtual dead heat. That won't last for long if Tomac can't fix his problems off the line (detailed here).
The biggest surprise to me is that Jason Anderson is still a few points behind Cole Seely in the projection, despite being ahead in the real standings by 5 points. Anderson's decent-but-not-great 2015 is still holding down his prediction, though that will change as 2016 results start to weigh more heavily in the numbers and he should gradually move up the chart - assuming he keeps performing better than Seely, Trey Canard, Marvin Musquin, etc.
Speaking of Canard, he's holding on to 7th with a pretty big margin, but that is assuming he's out for Glendale and resumes racing next week -- I haven't heard or read otherwise, but the hand injury might not keep him out entirely but might affect his performance. Musquin jumped up 3 spots into the 8th, right behind Canard, about as expected in the Oakland recap.
Other notables include Blake Baggett and James Stewart, who are at 13 and 14, both because of poor results at Oakland and because they will be missing the race Glendale due to injury. Baggett's prediction from last week seemed a bit high (as noted here), and it's not a surprise to see him drop due to a poor result as he's still getting back to top form after his injury recovery. Stewart's prediction is in the middle-lower end of the pack, but I don't see that as a likely outcome -- it seems he will either return to racing at a level where he'll be contending in each race and climb back up in the top 7 or so, or he'll continue to be sidelined and unable to gather almost any points.
Christophe Pourcel jumps a few spots, as we all still wait to see if he can ever turn his fast qualifying times into main event results. And Phillip Nicoletti works his way onto the list for the first time at #20.
Even though the projections didn't have a lot of movement, there's still plenty to look forward to in terms of predictions at Glendale. It seems like Dungey's unbeatable -- Can Roczen get a win? (RacerX's Jason Thomas thinks so.) Can Eli Tomac finally get a good start and hold on for a #1 or #2 finish? Can Anderson get back to the podium, or even #1 (helping to "fix" his projection, which is what I'm sure he's worried about)? Is Chad Reed fading, hanging out in the #4 spot where we've got him, or can he return to his magic runs from weeks 2 and 3? And can Musquin maintain the momentum from Oakland and be Top 5 or better? This season is running out of wildcards to topple Dungey from the top spot, and I think those 5 guys are the only ones we have left.
Stay safe while riding: the top helmets from MXA test riders: