After the one-week break, what's new with the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship predictions? One major change you can already guess
because it's been the big news of the week -- Ryan Dungey won't be at the top of the 450 standings prediction.
Pro MX Outdoor - 2016 Predictions After Week 3
450MX SEASON PREDICTIONS
As we've all seen, Ken Roczen has been far-and-away the fastest rider of the 2016 MX season. It's a shame that with Dungey's injury the question will remain: would Roczen continue to cruise all the way to the championship, or would Dungey have caught him? In terms of the predictions, if Dungey had not gotten hurt, Roczen still would have taken over the top spot in prediction going into this week, by 3 points. Now, though, Roczen has a 72-point expected gap between himself and Eli Tomac when the season ends:
Despite being expected to miss the entire rest of the season, Dungey still finishes 12th! With 131 points in the bank, only 10 riders are expected to pass him. (In 2015, 131 points would have place 14th.) Matt Bisceglia surprised quite a few with his 10/10 last week, including our predictions which saw him as outside the Top 20. Now he's expected to jump all the way up to finishing 13th on the season.
Tomac and Jason Anderson round out the podium spots, with Tomac having a pretty healthy lead largely because of Anderson's DNF at Thunder Valley. Though once we apply the adjustment for the injury prediction, these two become neck-and-neck:
After taking into account riders' injury history, Broc Tickle moves up a couple spots, while Bisceglia, Justin Bogle, and Weston Peick all drop significantly. Both projections together:
250MX SEASON PREDICTIONS
Jeremy Martin continues to hold the prediction for top spot, and Cooper Webb remains in 2nd. Aaron Plessinger holds on to 3rd with a new rider on his heels, Joey Savatgy. Alex Martin is still working his way up, in 6th behind Adam Cianciarulo (though that will look different after the injury adjustment, below). Jessy Nelson drops 4 spots after a 13/34 at Thunder Valley. Austin Forkner is still stuck down below where you might expect, in 9th, though his average lap times have been the 6th fastest (and he is 6th in points, whichever you put more stock in) -- but with only a handful of pro races, it will take a little more time for results to accumulate and for his prediction to change:
After factoring in the injury projections, Cianciarulo drops quite a bit, as mentioned above. His injury history is not great, and his crash at Thunder Valley didn't help change that impression:
In the prediction including the injury adjustment, Alex Martin and Forkner each move up slightly, closer to where predictions based on our eyeballs might put them. The 250 injury and non-injury predictions together:
Who's got the talent and primed to win this week at High Point? The "This-Week" rankings look at the rider's perceived talent (aka "true talent") as well as injuries and the rider's history at the upcoming track.
Here are the predictions for the 450 class this weekend:
[Edit: Trey Canard is out, so move everyone up a spot]
[Edit 2: Baggett's also out.]
A few major track adjustments are in there, including a very large one for Peick -- make of it what you will:
Ken Roczen -- expected to do 2.8 points better, based on being 2nd in 2014 and 1st in 2015 at High Point, compared to 3rd otherwise (nearly a reprint from last week's Thunder Valley track adjustment).
Christophe Pourcel -- expected to do 4 points better, based on being 4th in 2014 and 5th in 2015 at High Point compared to 7th otherwise.
Weston Peick -- expected to do 11 points better, based on being 6th in 2014 and 7th in 2015 at High Point, compared to just worse than 12th otherwise.
Here are the predictions for the 250 class at High Point:
[Edit: Justin Hill and Tristan Charboneau are still out.}
One major Track Adjustment, for Kyle Cunningham who is expected to do 4.7 points better, based on an average finish of just worse than 10th at High Point, compared to 13th otherwise. Alex Martin has also ridden well at High Point, including a 4th overall last year.
High Point is a very unique course, and since the first three weeks involve two hard-surface California tracks and the Colorado track at elevation, things could look much different this weekend at Mt. Morris. We now enter a stretch of the season that favors a different style of riding and a different set of skills, so there's still a long way to go and a lot can change.