Supercross "This Week" Predictions -- Indianapolis 2017
As Eli Tomac keeps winning, he draws closer and closer to Ryan Dungey in not only points, but in the updated "True Talent" ratings. While Dungey still has a slight advantage, the two are separated by less than a point -- before taking into account the Track Adjustment, that is. Who's got the talent and primed to win at Supercross week 11 in Indianapolis?
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.
Though Dungey and Tomac are very close in the projections before the adjustments, the predicted gap grows after the Track Adjustment. They're separated by nearly 2 points, as Dungey has had success at Indy (to put it mildly) with wins in each of the past 3 seasons plus a 2nd in 2013. Tomac, on the other hand, has had less inspiring recent results: 9th (2016) and 11th (2015), but a glimmer of hope from 2014 when he finished 2nd (albeit behind Dungey).
New for this week is that Jason Anderson is predicted in 3rd, ahead of Marvin Musquin. Once the Track Adjustment is applied, Cole Seely jumps both of them (by just a hair). I'm a tad skeptical of the adjustment for Seely since it doesn't include 2016, but his last 2 attempts at Indianapolis were 2nd (2015) and 3rd (2014) (and in 2014 I believe he split the season between 250 and 450, so to finish 2nd in one of his first 450SX races is impressive (*JMart's like "whatev").)
Even though Seely gains the most spots from the Track Adjustment, the actual biggest adjustment is for Davi Millsaps, who had good results in his recent races at Lucas Oil Stadium, finishing 5th (2015) and 4th (2013). Again, I'm a tad skeptical of that adjustment since it only includes 2 of the past 4 seasons, but Millsaps finished an average of 6.7 everywhere else during those years (and just better than 11th place everywhere else if you consider only 2015), so there may be something to it.
Dungey's projected to be a degree better than Tomac for this week's race, but if Tomac stays hot, performing slightly better than his projections, then where does that leave us for Indy? Sounds like it leaves us with potential for a tight race between the top 2 riders for 20+.
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