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Sign of the (Lap) Times: Atlanta

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The second Triple Crown race of the 2018 Monster Energy Supercross season is in the books, and with some slight adjustments, like longer first motos, the program flowed better and the racing was as good as ever. 

In six main events between the 450 and 250 classes, we got to see six different riders take the checkered flag. One of those riders was Justin Brayton, who held off a slew of riders to take home the first 450 moto. Jason Anderson would take the overall win later in the night, though.

In the 250 class, Austin Forkner won the overall with 4-2-3 scores while Zach Osborne placed second with scores of 1-3-5. With his win, Forkner sits only two points behind Osborne in championship points. 

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, a bunch of our traditional lap time charts.

450SX Class — Main Event 1 — Lap Times

Lap Rank Finish Best Lap On Lap Avg Lap Time Rider
1 4th 52.186 7 53.303 Marvin Musquin
2 5th 52.236 6 53.592 Eli Tomac
t-3 1st 52.419 12 53.174 Justin Brayton
t-3 3rd 52.419 6 53.345 Blake Baggett
5 2nd 52.544 7 53.221 Jason Anderson
6 6th 53.175 3 54.264 Christian Craig
7 14th 53.302 13 54.068 Cooper Webb
8 8th 53.335 6 54.711 Malcolm Stewart
9 11th 53.664 6 55.742 Benny Bloss
10 7th 53.823 5 54.856 Chad Reed
11 17th 53.906 8 55.823 Vince Friese
12 9th 53.925 10 55.093 Dean Wilson
13 10th 53.968 5 55.509 Tyler Bowers
14 12th 54.010 8 55.754 Kyle Cunningham
15 19th 54.260 2 55.587 Weston Peick
16 13th 54.314 3 55.540 Kyle Chisholm
17 22nd 54.429 3 54.914 Broc Tickle
18 20th 54.774 6 56.155 Justin Hill
19 15th 55.092 3 56.363 Cole Martinez
20 16th 55.596 8 57.226 Matt Bisceglia
21 18th 56.110 3 58.067 Cedric Soubeyras
22 21st 58.051 2 1:02.544 Ben LaMay
Lap Rank Finish Best Lap On Lap Avg Lap Time Rider
1 3rd 52.256 4 53.414 Eli Tomac
2 1st 52.368 4 53.259 Jason Anderson
3 2nd 52.584 6 53.223 Cooper Webb
4 4th 52.791 6 53.765 Blake Baggett
5 5th 52.823 10 54.139 Marvin Musquin
6 21st 53.145 7 54.458 Justin Hill
7 6th 53.371 8 54.672 Justin Brayton
8 7th 53.404 6 54.884 Christian Craig
9 8th 54.147 7 55.241 Weston Peick
10 14th 54.250 5 55.959 Broc Tickle
11 9th 54.485 8 55.587 Malcolm Stewart
12 11th 54.627 7 56.550 Kyle Chisholm
13 10th 54.630 8 55.526 Dean Wilson
14 17th 55.051 5 56.516 Tyler Bowers
15 13th 55.453 5 56.941 Benny Bloss
16 12th 55.737 8 56.971 Kyle Cunningham
17 15th 56.187 6 56.789 Chad Reed
18 19th 56.160 6 58.494 Cole Martinez
19 18th 56.540 6 58.277 Cedric Soubeyras
20 20th 57.043 4 1:00.106 Ben LaMay
21 16th 57.149 14 57.996 Matt Bisceglia
22 22nd DQ'd DQ'd DQ'd Vince Friese
Lap Rank Finish Best Lap On Lap Avg Lap Time Rider
1 2nd 52.195 9 53.333 Eli Tomac
2 1st 52.595 10 53.243 Marvin Musquin
3 4th 52.832 4 54.495 Jason Anderson
4 3rd 53.031 6 54.204 Cooper Webb
5 5th 53.311 4 54.703 Christian Craig
6 18th 53.347 2 53.347 Blake Baggett
7 6th 53.623 6 54.552 Justin Brayton
8 9th 53.713 6 55.475 Chad Reed
9 7th 53.745 5 54.955 Weston Peick
10 8th 54.031 5 55.328 Benny Bloss
11 10th 54.397 18 55.217 Dean Wilson
12 11th 55.036 4 56.522 Tyler Bowers
13 13th 55.077 5 56.479 Kyle Chisholm
14 16th 55.308 4 56.862 Kyle Cunningham
15 12th 55.311 3 56.891 Malcolm Stewart
16 14th 55.870 6 57.748 Cole Martinez
17 15th 55.882 3 58.258 Cedric Soubeyras
18 17th 58.329 8 1:01.333 Ben LaMay
19 19th DNF DNF DNF Broc Tickle
20 20th DNF DNF DNF Matt Bisceglia
21 21st DNS DNS DNS Justin Hill
22 22nd DQ'd DQ'd DQ'd Vince Friese
Lap Rank Finish Best Lap On Lap Avg Lap Time Rider
1 1st 52.543 4 53.425 Zach Osborne
2 8th 52.805 7 53.977 Martin Davalos
3 3rd 52.892 7 53.701 Jordon Smith
4 2nd 52.894 7 53.475 Dylan Ferrandis
5 4th 53.000 6 53.817 Austin Forkner
6 5th 53.223 5 54.178 Colt Nichols
7 7th 53.439 7 54.165 RJ Hampshire
8 6th 53.558 4 54.149 Jeremy Martin
9 9th 53.938 4 55.064 Jimmy Decotis
10 10th 54.407 3 55.774 Anthony Rodriguez
11 11th 54.597 7 55.878 Kyle Peters
12 13th 54.851 9 56.205 Luke Renzland
13 16th 54.888 10 55.838 Cameron McAdoo
14 22nd 55.188 4 57.004 Chris Blose
15 12th 55.213 9 55.973 Brandon Hartranft
16 15th 55.290 8 55.817 Nick Gaines
17 14th 55.366 3 56.712 Sean Cantrell
18 17th 55.627 7 57.403 Jacob Williamson
19 18th 55.755 7 57.823 Michael Mosiman
20 19th 56.837 8 57.842 Josh Osby
21 20th 57.204 4 58.495 Zack Williams
22 21st 57.291 2 59.100 Heath Harrison
Lap Rank Finish Best Lap On Lap Avg Lap Time Rider
1 3rd 53.108 5 53.763 Zach Osborne
2 2nd 53.473 6 55.264 Austin Forkner
3 1st 53.584 6 54.945 Martin Davalos
4 10th 54.004 6 56.066 Jeremy Martin
5 5th 54.030 5 55.157 RJ Hampshire
6 4th 54.346 3 55.302 Jordon Smith
7 11th 54.454 10 55.843 Colt Nichols
8 7th 54.744 10 55.802 Kyle Peters
9 6th 54.748 6 55.742 Cameron McAdoo
10 12th 54.944 5 56.419 Michael Mosiman
11 8th 54.962 9 55.929 Brandon Hartranft
12 9th 55.079 10 55.960 Luke Renzland
13 13th 55.153 5 56.921 Anthony Rodriguez
14 14th 55.328 7 56.475 Jimmy Decotis
15 22nd 55.621 2 55.621 Dylan Ferrandis
16 16th 55.694 7 57.237 Nick Gaines
17 15th 55.850 5 56.910 Sean Cantrell
18 17th 56.573 12 58.724 Josh Osby
19 19th 56.790 6 58.057 Chris Blose
20 18th 56.976 7 58.696 Heath Harrison
21 20th 57.101 6 58.929 Jacob Williamson
22 21st 57.872 8 1:00.096 Zack Williams
Lap Rank Finish Best Lap On Lap Avg Lap Time Rider
1 1st 52.880 8 54.291 Jeremy Martin
2 2nd 53.068 6 54.178 Colt Nichols
3 3rd 53.443 9 54.641 Austin Forkner
4 4th 53.720 8 54.833 RJ Hampshire
5 16th 53.741 3 57.011 Martin Davalos
6 5th 53.748 3 54.700 Zach Osborne
7 6th 53.778 3 54.545 Jordon Smith
8 14th 54.248 6 55.597 Luke Renzland
9 8th 54.476 12 55.164 Jimmy Decotis
10 20th 54.486 6 55.499 Cameron McAdoo
11 7th 54.705 3 55.616 Kyle Peters
12 13th 55.165 3 57.021 Sean Cantrell
13 9th 55.186 4 56.318 Brandon Hartranft
14 10th 55.351 4 56.538 Chris Blose
15 11th 55.479 9 56.382 Nick Gaines
16 12th 55.519 2 56.572 Michael Mosiman
17 15th 56.022 2 58.284 Jacob Williamson
18 17th 56.708 5 58.738 Josh Osby
19 18th 57.360 3 1:00.448 Heath Harrison
20 19th 58.393 4 1:00.044 Zack Williams
21 21st 1:16.848 2 1:16.848 Anthony Rodriguez
22 22nd DNS DNS DNS Dylan Ferrandis

The first 450 race of the night was about as good as you can get. Christian Craig led for the first half of the race but was then passed by Brayton, Jason Anderson, and Blake Baggett on the same lap. Brayton then turned consistent laps out front while riders stacked up behind him and jockeyed for position, and he was able to take the checkered flag.

Anderson commented on the hectic race in the post-race press conference: "I started behind Brayton and Christian [Craig]. I felt like for me, I was playing defensive and trying to pass them at the same time because I had three of the fastest guys that I’ve been racing against—Eli, Marv [Musquin] and Baggett. They want to get by me and pass those two, and I want to pass the guys in front of me, but the track was a little bit like heat race-smooth. It’s harder to pass them because I feel like they were riding good and attacking the track just as good as we were behind them."

Take a look at the lap times from the top five in that race.

I made the chart below with the intent to see how much the track was breaking down over the course of the night, but instead I think it shows how Anderson went into protection mode about halfway through the last main event. 

Looking at his lap times for all three motos, they are pretty similar up until lap nine of the third moto. On that lap, his times shoot up by about a second. This is also when he started losing positions and looking behind himself over every triple. 

For the past few weeks, the top 250 riders and 450 riders have actually been pretty close in lap times. I decided to see how Osborne and Brayton stacked up against each other in the first moto since the track was probably most comparable at the start of the night. 

Osborne was actually putting in faster laps than Brayton when the track was fresh and the lines were breaking in, but Brayton maintained his pace for longer and even dropped his times at the end of his moto. 

Lap times are obviously not the be-all, end-all when debating between the two classes, but I still think it's interesting how comparable they are. Take a look. 

Since moving up to the 450 class, Cooper Webb has struggled to log consistent results. His longest top-ten finish streak is three and his average finish since moving up to the 450 is 9.6 (not including DNFs). Webb has ridden well over the last three rounds, though, and is primed to break his top-ten streak in Daytona. 

We talked to Webb last week about the progress he's made from the beginning of the year, and although he's satisfied with his improved results, he still knows he'll need to be better if he wants to contend for wins.

"I’m obviously not quite up to these guys yet, but I feel like in practice I’m right there, but I need to be a better racer," he said. "Maybe I’m being a little bit conservative. Hey, it’s all good, I’m getting better every weekend and getting more confidence. Making small steps, and now we’re right there knocking on that podium. I think the three guys that are up there tonight are great riders and they’re really pushing that edge. I need to be better."

Supercross wasn't the only high-profile moto event happening last weekend, as the FIM Motocross World Championship kicked off with the MXGP of Argentina. In the first moto, Antonio Cairoli and Jeffrey Herlings picked up right where they left off last year and battled all the way to the finish. Only 1.075 seconds separated them when they crossed the finish line. Take a look at their lap times for the first moto. 

They continued their battle into the second moto, with Herlings making a last-lap pass on Cairoli to grab the overall win. If you haven't payed attention to MXGP in the past, this season might be a good one on which to start because these two look like they're going to give us one hell of a season.