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Supercross 2017: San Diego -- Predictions Review

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How did the "This Week" predictions do for Supercross week 2 in San Diego?  The second week's predictions should show some major improvements over the first week.  Was that the case?  For one, the Week 2 predictions had 7 riders predicted exactly (5 were predicted exactly in Week 1).

Another 3 riders were just 1 spot off (just 1 in Week 1).  So things improved, and half of the riders were predicted within 1 spot, which seems pretty good for just 1 week of 2017 data to work off of.

Two big misses were Jimmy Albertson who had a wreck and didn't make it through the qualifying laps, and Blake Baggett who was riding in 9th--just one spot below his predicted finish--when he crashed in Lap 4 and fell into last place. (Christophe Pourcel also crashed out, during Lap 4 of his Heat Race, and he was riding in 3rd at the time.)

Those two involved some element of bad luck, but more concerning errors in the Week 2 prediction were for Marvin Musquin and Cooper Webb.  Musquin continues to ride well above everyone not named Ken Roczen or Ryan Dungey, yet the predictions had him in 7th.  As discussed in the original pre-season Supercross predictions, Musquin's prediction is being held down by several bad finishes at the end of 2016 Supercross (as he was nursing an injury).  He had shown progression in both his debut 450 SX and 450 MX seasons.  That said, he did run off the track and nearly crash at San Diego...

The other rider who's been way off his prediction is Webb, with an average finish of 12th.  He was predicted #4 at Anaheim 1 (finished 10th) and #6 at San Diego (finished 14th).  There is a minor adjustment in the MotoXGraphs ratings for "experience" in the class, but apparently it wasn't enough to capture Webb's struggle in adjusting to the new bike.  One positive example, that someone should mention to Mr. Webb when they next see him, is that Musquin opened 2016 with finishes of 14th, 9th, and 9th, only getting his first really good result in Week 4, with a 3rd place; Musquin later put up a string of 2 / 3 / 2 / 2.  So, all hope is not lost just because of a couple down races for the rookie.  (If you didn't see the San Diego recap, check it out -- Webb's lap times were all over the place.)

Stadium/Track Adjustments
Since the Stadium/Track Adjustment is still a bit of a work in progress (The MX Book goes through it in detail, with encouraging conclusions), I highlight the major ones to see if the riders' finishing spots were better or worse at the Supercross stadium -- that is, in line with the prediction or not.  There were 3 substantial Stadium/Track Adjustments for the 450's at Petco, although fairly moderate ones:

- Chad Reed was predicted to do 2.1 points better at Petco, and he did 4 points better (predicted at 8 before the track adjustment, earned 12).  That's +2 (predicted effect) vs +4 (actual effect), so the adjustment was close to correct.
- Eli Tomac was predicted to do 1.4 points better at Petco than at the average Supercross track.  He earned 15 points, compared to 18 points in his prediction (before the track adjustment), which means he did 3 points worse.  So for him, the adjustment was wrong.  
- Cole Seely was predicted to do 1.4 points better at Petco, and he did 1 point better (predicted at 15 before the track adjustment, earned 16).  So for him, the adjustment was pretty close.  

The predictions for Week 2 improved over the ones for Week 1, and like last week's they were good around the top of the pack.  Things may get a little less clear in Week 3 if Malcom Stewart returns with his own ride and if Trey Canard comes back from his rotator cuff injury -- both guys who figure into the Top 10 battle, if not the Top 5.

Posted by: SagehenMacGyver47   :::   As always – Feedback welcomed

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