Supercross "This Week" Predictions -- Minneapolis 2017
Sure, Ryan Dungey has looked a bit mortal the last few weeks, with a 3rd, 2nd, and 4th, but the smart money says that's just a blip on the radar. And what better opportunity to get back in the grove but a race in his home state? Who's got the talent and primed to win at Supercross week 7 in Minneapolis?
As usual, the updated 2017 Supercross Prediction puts the whole season in perspective, while the "This Week" rankings look at the riders' perceived ability (aka "true talent") as well as taking into account injuries and the riders' history at the upcoming track.
**For those not familiar, a brief explanation of the components that factor into the "This Week" rankings:
The standard MotoXGraphs prediction of rider performance, based on the current and prior seasons, weighing recent results more heavily. It differs from the "Full Season" prediction in that it is not worrying about the rider's current point standings (which obviously are a crucial part of the full season prediction), only about their current ability.
Attempts to account for riders competing at less than 100% due to injury. Full research behind the Injury Adjustment can be found in The MX Book (or eBook). While this adjustment is only an estimate (what predictions aren't?), the purpose of the Injury Adjustment is less about trying to make an exact prediction and is more about indicating that a rider is recovering from injury so the viewer can take that into account at whatever scale he or she chooses.
Provides an increase or decrease in expected points for the riders based on their historical performance (over the past 4 years, where applicable) in the upcoming city/stadium. Also validated by research in The MX Book ( or eBook). The track/location effect has a slightly muted nature in Supercross compared to outdoors since the tracks are not exactly the same in Supercross sites from year to year (or even within the same year for sites like Angel Stadium or Petco where there are often multiple races in one season).
Here are the predictions for the 450 class this weekend. With Trey Canard back as of last week and Justin Barcia returning this week, the field becomes very stacked once again. Justin Brayton, however, is expected to miss the race and Josh Grant is TBD as of right now (Grant is included below because it seems more likely that he will ride).
Once again Dungey is at the top, but his margin is larger than last week. That said, with the way Marvin Musqin is riding plus Eli Tomac's reemergence as a threat to win any race, there just might be more competition for Dungey than the numbers indicate. Cooper Webb was creeping up on the Top 5, but with a missed opportunity last week, he'll have to return to form at Minnesota to get back into the mix as a weekly Top 5 projection.
Barcia returns at #10 but drops 2 spot because of the Injury Adjustment (applied to those returning from injury). The Injury Adjustment also drops Grant a few spots (if he rides). Their reentry into the field shifts a few riders down versus last week's projections.
The Location Adjustment isn't really all that relevant this week, so take it with a HUGE grain of salt. Since no race has been run in Minneapolis for several years (in 2013, when it was in the Metrodome...and Dungey won), I'm using Ford Field in Detroit and Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis as proxies. Not exact matches for the U.S Bank Stadium this week, but as close as it can get.
Back in 2013, for the 450 race in Minneapolis--albeit in a much different venue, for one the Metrodome was a baseball field while U.S. Bank Stadium is a football field--of the relevant riders, Dungey finished 1st, Davi Millsaps 3rd, Barcia 4th, and Chad Reed 5th. Not as impressive was Broc Tickle, in 13th. I wouldn't read that much into those numbers, being just one race, 4 years ago. Also of note, though, is that Musquin won the 250 race in the Metrodome in 2013...
Things to watch:
1. I'm sure you'll hear plenty more about this, probably wanting to plug your ears, but will Dungey put on a repeat Minneapolis performance and return to the top of the podium?
2. Will Musquin stay hot? Can he be a threat to Dungey as a consistent race winner?
3. Is Webb going to bounce back and continue improving, as he's done so far during the early season?
4. Repeat from last week (but maybe with less gusto): "But really aren't we all just watching Tomac and wondering if (hoping?) he can put on another amazing demonstration of speed?"