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Best Lap Times, Stats from Anaheim 1 - Supercross

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Angel Stadium Anaheim, CA Race Center: Anaheim 1 Monster Energy AMA Supercross Championship

The first supercross race of the year is in the books, and that means we all get to make our wild predictions for the rest of the year. The 2018 version of Anaheim 1 was much softer than what we're used to seeing because of some refined dirt with sand added that stopped the blue groove from forming. 

Marvin Musquin continued his hot streak from the off-season by edging out Jason Anderson and Justin Barcia for the 450SX win. In 250SX, Shane McElrath made his mark on the #deepfield by picking up the second Anaheim 1 win of his career. 

Let’s dive into the lap data to figure out how these races were won and lost with this week’s Sign of the (Lap) Times. First, our traditional lap time charts.

450SX Class Lap Times

Lap Rank Finish Best Lap On Lap Avg Lap Time Rider
1 22nd 52.575 2 52.973 Eli Tomac
2 3rd 53.018 2 54.415 Justin Barcia
3 1st 53.156 5 54.117 Marvin Musquin
4 2nd 53.340 5 54.184 Jason Anderson
5 5th 53.632 2 54.832 Weston Peick
6 4th 53.676 9 54.555 Ken Roczen
7 6th 53.758 14 54.872 Cole Seely
8 12th 53.920 8 55.439 Blake Baggett
9 10ths 54.324 17 55.376 Cooper Webb
10 8th 54.330 12 55.098 Broc Tickle
11 11th 54.419 7 55.525 Jeremy Martin
12 7th 54.489 7 55.182 Justin Brayton
13 9th 54.599 10 55.242 Josh Grant
14 13th 54.994 10 56.327 Vince Friese
15 14th 55.336 8 56.847 Tyler Bowers
16 17th 55.843 4 57.641 Ben LaMay
17 18th 55.848 3 58.072 Alex Ray
18 20th 56.053 7 57.582 Dakota Tedder
19 15th 56.067 13 57.493 Chad Reed
20 16th 56.116 4 57.054 Kyle Cunningham
21 19th 56.356 6 58.545 Matt Bisceglia
22 21st 57.015 4 1:00.189 Adam Enticknap
Lap Rank Finish Best Lap On Lap Avg Lap Time Rider
1 1st 53.547 2 54.626 Shane McElrath
2 2nd 53.681 9 54.624 Aaron Plessinger
3 3rd 53.973 5 54.678 Adam Cianciarulo
4 6th 54.043 7 55.517 Mitchell Oldenburg
5 4th 54.100 7 54.833 Joey Savatgy
6 5th 54.478 9 55.481 Christian Craig
7 11th 54.506 8 55.679 Bradley Taft
8 7th 54.599 5 55.715 Justin Hill
9 8th 54.639 4 56.007 Chase Sexton
10 21st 54.701 5 55.543 Alex Martin
11 9th 54.985 9 56.243 Justin Cooper
12 10th 55.472 8 56.897 Kyle Chisholm
13 13th 55.693 4 57.249 Hayden Mellross
14 15th 55.736 5 58.239 Justin Hoeft
15 14th 55.936 4 57.512 Mitchell Harrison
16 12th 56.075 8 57.216 Dakota Alix
17 17th 56.889 5 1:00.003 Ryan Breece
18 19th 57.097 3 1:00.431 Jean Ramos
19 16th 57.113 5 58.923 Justin Starling
20 18th 57.247 4 59.351 Killian Auberson
21 20th 58.015 6 1:00.508 Brandan Leith
22 22nd DNF DNF DNF Phillip Nicoletti

Musquin and Anderson, the two Baker's Factory boys, went 1-2 respectively at the season opener. Anderson was able to keep Musquin in sight for the entire race, and even started to reel in the Frenchman in the later stages. As you can see by their lap times below, from lap 16 on, Musquin's lap times began to vary while Anderson was able to turn in multiple laps right around the 54-second mark. 

One of the questions about Musquin coming into 2018 was, "Will this be the season he figures out the whoops?" This past Saturday, we saw Musquin use two different techniques in the two separate whoop pads. In the first section he skimmed them like normal, and in the second set before the finish line he resorted to jumping through them, going triple-triple-double into the turn. 

This technique has been praised by some and criticized by others because it's difficult to do well and often isn't as fast as skimming the top of the whoops. I wanted to see if Musquin was losing any time to Anderson in this section of the track, and for the most part, they were about equal, with Anderson gaining .576 seconds on Musquin over the course of the entire race. (Note: four-tenths of that chunk came on the last lap.) Check out their times for the fourth section of the track below. 

Musquin's Segment Four Time Anderson's Segment Four Time Difference
15.039 15.794 -0.755
14.21 14.884 -0.674
13.94 13.957 -0.017
13.83 13.77 +0.06
13.928 13.959 -0.031
14.181 13.782 +0.399
13.962 13.974 -0.012
14.066 14.229 -0.163
14.171 14.091 +0.08
14.034 13.937 +0.097
14.329 14.17 +0.159
14.106 14.184 -0.078
13.808 14.151 -0.343
14.184 14.647 -0.463
14.072 14.101 -0.029
14.248 13.88 +0.368
14.903 14.001 +0.902
14.336 13.888 +0.448
13.95 14.047 -0.097
14.244 14.442 -0.198
14.285 14.013 +0.272
14.253 14.072 +0.181
14.312 14.323 -0.011
15.258 14.777 +0.481
Total Difference +0.576

Tomac's Tough Start

Coming into the season, Eli Tomac was pegged as the title favorite by many, but his season didn't get off to the best start. He logged a 22nd place finish after pulling out of the race with a sore shoulder due to a crash while leading. 

This isn't the first time Tomac has struggled at Anaheim 1 on the 450. In 2014, he got together with Jake Weimer in a rhythm section during the heat race, which forced him to miss the night show and the next weekend in Phoenix. 

In 2015, he crashed while running in sixth on the first lap and was slow to get back on the back. He finished 20th.  

He seemed to get something figured out, though, as the next two years he made it out of Angel Stadium with solid fourth- and fifth-place finishes.

In the end, Tomac heads into the next round 25 points behind Musquin. He's no stranger to working himself out of a hole, though, as we saw last year in both Monster Energy Supercross and Lucas Oil Pro Motocross. Provided he's able to compete at close to 100 percent, we should be in for a good comeback attempt. 

Also, if you were curious how much time Tomac spent trying to get his pants buckled, we clocked it 11.64 seconds. It's just an example of how even the most simple task can become difficult in a high stress environment.