Now that Southwick is in the books, what's changed with the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship predictions? With the big win, will Eli Tomac
make headway against Ken Roczen? Has Cooper Webb built up an insurmountable lead?
Pro MX Outdoor - 2016 Full-Season Predictions After Week 7
Before they're too far out-of-date, check out the 2nd-half of the season charts to look at the range of possibilities for each rider.
Roczen's lead still looks quite safe. One very good week from Tomac doesn't undo 6 very good weeks from Roczen. The numbers still expect Roczen to add to his current lead (47 points) over the next 5 weeks.
Despite Justin Barcia being rated as slightly faster than Marvin Musquin, Musquin's current 20 point lead is projected as safe. Barcia needs 4+ points per week, which means he has to average a couple spots better than Musquin the rest of the way. Unless Musquin really slips or Barcia can crack into #1/#2 territory, it isn't going to happen.
At Southwick, Broc Tickle was unable to continue his hot streak, but he does have a very good chance at finishing 5th -- a Top 5 for him would be considered quite a success, I think. His closest competitor is Christophe Pourcel, who has been neck-and-neck with Tickle over the past few weeks in terms of results, but Tickle has had the faster laptimes overall on the season (6.1 seconds faster than average compared to Pourcel's 5.2).
After those two, there's a pretty big gap down to Trey Canard, Weston Peick, and Justin Bogle -- Canard is returning from injury, Bogle is out with an injury, and Peick is nearly 70 points back of Pourcel. Unless one of them catches fire, Tickle and Pourcel are safe in 5th/6th (barring injury, of course).
A surprising longshot to catch Tickle/Pourcel might actually be Justin Brayton, who only trails Pourcel by 48 points (still a lot) in 10th. The numbers have never liked Brayton as a Top 10 guy for 2016, despite him sitting in Top 10 right now. His age (32) combined with a 16th place average finish in 2015 resulted in a pre-season prediction of 18th (16th after factoring in the injury projections). So far, he's outperformed the predictions, but that's on the back of consistency more than speed -- his best moto finish is 9th and his average laptimes are not as fast as any of the aforementioned riders:
In the bottom half of the chart, Benny Bloss moves up after setting another personal best overall result last week, and Matt Bisceglia drops due to his injury that cost him qualifying at Southwick plus an additional two weeks of recovery. Blake Baggett also falls out of the Top 20 since he announced his injury will keep him out of the rest of the season. Just missing are Cole Martinez and Noah McConahy who haven't quite had the speed of Heath Harrison and Ben LaMay.
The current injury status and projected health of the riders don't have much of an effect since we're getting closer to the end of the season. Both projections together:
Not surprisingly, Cooper Webb extends his projected lead over Jeremy Martin, and Joey Savatgy takes a particularly large hit after Southwick:
The top 7 riders hold their positions, though. Adam Cianciarulo, who was in 8th, drops down 2 spots with his 9 / 19 at Southwick -- coupled with Arnaud Tonus's move up from 11th. And Shane McElrath, who was in 9th, nearly drops out of the rankings due to injuries that will limit him to just a couple more races, if that.
After factoring in the injury projections, Jessy Nelson is hurt the most, dropping a couple spots since he is working his way back from an ankle injury that has kept him out for 4+ weeks now:
The 250 injury and non-injury predictions together:
Look for the "This-Week" projections no later than Friday, predicting the riders' performance at Spring Creek.