I’m pumped on this sport, my job, and being on the races each Saturday. I’m not some dude who simply talks crap on all the pieces like Steve Matthes (every weekend somebody tells me that is what he does). However via my 17 or so years protecting the races, I’ve developed the next pet peeves. The listing is small, however if you happen to’ve listened to our seven seasons of Fly Racing Racer X Podcasts, you’ve most likely heard me rail on these subjects repeatedly.
If not, now you’ll know the place I stand.
It occurs about each three weeks. Somebody texts me with a wet Saturday climate prediction after which writes “Appears like we’re in for a mudder.” After which Saturday comes … and no mudder.
Trendy observe of us have prep right down to a science. They have a look at the climate, too. In supercross, they construct the observe early and canopy it, so all of that rain you’re seeing on the Climate Channel App does nothing. If it’s actually dangerous on Saturday morning, they’ll reduce observe. Outside, they roll the observe in and harden it, resembling this 12 months in Thunder Valley, had been they waited out the rain and didn’t rip it deep till Three:00 a.m. on Saturday morning—after the rain handed.
Backside line is, it may possibly rain and rain and rain and rain the times main as much as the occasion, however except it rains exhausting at exactly 7:00 p.m. (at a supercross) or 1:00 p.m. (motocross) we gained’t have a mud race. That’s a really small window for the rain to do harm. Past that, the observe crews have a repair for something mom nature can throw at them. Plus, how correct are Saturday forecasts on a Tuesday? Loosen up, individuals!
This occurred as just lately as Muddy Creek. It was exhausting to move on that observe. However I knew what was coming—if anybody dared say the observe didn’t supply a lot passing, somebody would counter with, “Nicely did you not see Blake Baggett move 35 guys within the second 450 moto?”
Yeah, I noticed it. However utilizing one loopy instance finally ends up skewing all the information. In 2004, James Stewart gained 23 out of 24 motos on a 125 towards 250Fs. Did that imply a 125 is quicker than a 250F? After all not.
Baggett is on an unbelievable stage proper now and may do superb issues. In Daytona this 12 months Ryan Dungey got here from a primary flip crash to fourth. That doesn’t imply Daytona provided nice passing, it simply means Dungey is one dangerous mofo when he has to return via the pack and salvage factors.
When deciding if a observe provided good passing alternatives, make sure to have a look at the vast majority of the sphere, not simply the one man who did one thing superb. All sports activities do that—I watched a NASCAR race yesterday and noticed snark on Twitter when drivers stated it was exhausting to move, adopted by the inevitable “However Kyle Larson simply handed everybody!” Acquired it. However nobody else was in a automotive pretty much as good as Larson’s at that time.
Look, when a dude like Baggett is so quick that he can use the dangerous strains in each nook and nonetheless get round a number of the greatest riders on the planet, the observe doesn’t even matter. Should you had been to line up towards him on a observe in your yard, he’d move you, however that doesn’t imply the observe provided loads of room. Within the case of Baggett at Muddy Creek or Dungey at Daytona, the comeback requires in some way magically being 15 p.c quicker than everybody else on the observe, which is extraordinarily tough on the highest stage. It’s higher offense overcoming good protection. I’d somewhat have a look at what occurred with 39 different guys than only one.
When Ryan Dungey gained the Atlanta supercross, it was stated that he “managed his personal future” as a result of all he needed to do was end second on the ultimate 9 (!) rounds of Monster Power Supercross to win the title, even when Eli Tomac gained the remainder of the races. Eli may solely make up 27 factors by successful out if Dungey completed second…. Okay, by no means, ever, EVER assume somebody goes to win the remainder, and another person is “simply” going to complete second every time. Not even Dungey, heretofore essentially the most constant dude ever, may pull off nine-straight seconds, he was fourth two weeks later in that Daytona race. Tomac didn’t win 9 in a row, both. Racing appears pretty predictable from week to week, nevertheless it’s by no means nine-weeks-in-a-row predictable.
In 2010, Trey Canard was closing down on Christophe Pourcel within the 250 Nationals, however entered the season finale seven factors behind. “All Pourcel has to do is go 2-2 to beat Canard for the title by one level.”
On the finale Canard went Four-Three and Pourcel went 31-37.
Now, there may be ONE TIME the place this math truly labored out, when Chad Reed gained the ultimate six 250SX races in 2003, and Ricky Carmichael certainly completed second six-straight occasions to carry on for the championship. However if you wish to use one instance as proof, please see my entry above.
These above are my large three—predicting mudders 5 days upfront, counting factors upfront, and utilizing one odd-ball instance to show a degree that 40-some different examples can show in any other case. I’ve acquired a couple of others, resembling forgetting to say “sufficient” after mentioning all of the sponsors that you just “can’t thank,” however for essentially the most half I’m good. Simply please, please, by the point we get to Unadilla, don’t hit me up @jasonweigandt with any climate forecasts, or with genius math about Zach Osborne solely having to complete second in the remainder of the motos to clinch the title. Keep in mind, that’s why they run the races.