Supercross 2017: Minneapolis -- Predictions Review
How did the "This Week" predictions do for Supercross week 7 at Minneapolis? Better than at Arlington, naturally, since things were relatively normal at Minneapolis compared to last week. But with a track that was fairly one-lined, I'd imagine that starting position had a big impact on finishing position.
Only 2 riders had their predictions work out exactly (though they were 4th and 5th, so fairly important spots), and the riders predicted 2nd and 3rd (Eli Tomac and Marvin Musquin) finished 1st and 2nd. In all, 10 riders finished within 2 spots of their prediction, so out of 18 (discounting Cooper Webb and Justin Bogle who did not start the Main Event) that would be just over half, which is good but not great.
If you figure that predictions for 16th through 20th were affected by Webb and Bogle missing the race, then that would mean 4 more riders had finishes that were within 2 spots of their predictions. That would mean 14 riders overall were within 2 spots, though you need some "yeah, but" to get there.
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 each week to see if the riders' finishing spots were better or worse at the Supercross stadium -- that is, in line with the prediction or not.
At Minneapolis there were 2 moderately large adjustments and everything else was relatively small. For this track I wouldn't read too much into the results, considering that it was at a new stadium and we didn't have results to inform the predictions for the past 3 years. I will list the 3 biggest to compare how the adjustment compared with the apparent effect of the stadium:
The largest Track Adjustment, for Broc Tickle, expected him to do 2.3 points better at U.S. Bank Stadium than at the average track. Before the adjustment, he was predicted to earn 9 points, and he actually earned 14 -- a difference of 5 points. That's +2.3 (predicted effect) vs +5 (actual effect), so the adjustment was in the correct direction if not quite as big as the actual result.
Josh Grant was predicted to do 2 points better at U.S. Bank Stadium than at the average track. He did 1 point better, so the adjustment appears to have been in the correct direction.
The next biggest adjustment, though not all that large, predicted Chad Reed to do 1.2 points better at U.S. Bank Stadium, but he did 6 points worse due to a crash.
At least the predictions got somewhat back on track for Minneapolis. Getting the top spot wrong is always a bummer, but at least Tomac and Musquin tightened the points race to make the chase for the points lead more exciting. And, all of the riders predicted to finish in the Top 5 did so, which is a good sign for the predictions. BTW, I just noticed that Mike Alessi finished 10th, which was 9 spots better than his prediction. Good for him, but it's going to take much more than that to change his projections for the next several races!