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Sign of the (Lap) Times: Unadilla

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For a second straight year, Unadilla was hammered with rain, leading to some unpredictable moments. But at the end of the day, aside from maybe Phil Nicoletti and Mitchell Harrison's podiums, we saw familiar faces on the top steps.

Marvin Musquin charged to a second-moto victory to capture the overall over first-moto winner Eli Tomac (Musquin won the tie-breaker). The title chase didn't change, though, as the two tied in points and Tomac will remain 15 up heading into this weekend.

In the 250 Class, Dylan Ferrandis scored his first 1-1 of the season and second overall after dueling with teammate Aaron Plessinger. As for the title, Plessinger gained more points on Alex Martin and looks to clinch this weekend.

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

450 MOTO 1

LAP RANK FINISH BEST LAP ON LAP AVG LAP TIME RIDER
1 1st 2:34.183 2 2:43.168 Eli Tomac
2 2nd 2:36.311 2 2:45.850 Marvin Musquin
3 3rd 2:36.698 1 2:47.595 Phil Nicoletti
4 5th 2:38.589 1 2:50.511 Blake Baggett
5 15th 2:39.542 1 3:00.320 Dylan Merriam
6 4th 2:39.567 2 2:50.679 Benny Bloss
7 32nd 2:39.966 1 2:55.574 Brandon Scharer
8 6th  2:40.223 2 2:50.999 Kailub Russell
9 7th 2:41.449 3 2:55.390 Ken Roczen
10 16th 2:41.457 2 2:50.969 Cooper Webb
LAP RANK FINISH BEST LAP ON LAP AVG LAP TIME RIDER
1 1st 2:39.180 3 2:44.319 Marvin Musquin
2 2nd 2:40.545 4 2:46.948 Eli Tomac
3 3rd 2:41.338 4 2:49.159 Justin Barcia
4 7th 2:42.676 10 2:51.422 Ken Roczen
5 4th 2:43.211 8 2:50.040 Cooper Webb
6 5th 2:44.952 2 2:50.836 Phil Nicoletti
7 6th 2:45.180 13 2:50.692 Blake Baggett
8 8th 2:51.334 2 2:57.514 Weston Peick
9 10th 2:52.479 7 2:57.443 Benny Bloss
10 30th 2:52.700 5 3:00.580 Kailub Russell
LAP RANK FINISH BEST LAP ON LAP AVG LAP TIME RIDER
1 2nd 2:44.682 3 2:58.000 Aaron Plessinger
2 1st 2:47.958 2 2:55.743 Dylan Ferrandis
3 4th 2:48.535 3 3:00.563 Mitchell Harrison
4 6th 2:49.195 1 2:59.703 Michael Mosiman
5 7th 2:49.976 3 2:59.670 Colt Nichols
6 3rd 2:53.727 5 2:58.553 Shane McElrath
7 5th 2:54.614 3 3:02.637 Chase Sexton
8 8th 2:55.134 3 3:05.692 Joey Savatgy
9 10th 2:56.553 3 3:04.981 Alex Martin
10 9th 2:57.253 4 3:06.164 RJ Hampshire
LAP RANK FINISH BEST LAP ON LAP AVG LAP TIME RIDER
1 8th 2:32.979 7 2:38.709 Chase Sexton
2 1st 2:33.796 11 2:38.174 Dylan Ferrandis
3 2nd 2:34.450 12 2:38.215 Aaron Plessinger
4 6th 2:34.604 14 2:40.593 Justin Cooper
5 7th 2:35.061 14 2:41.182 Alex Martin
6 10th 2:35.146 7 2:43.091 Colt Nichols
7 3rd 2:35.594 9 2:39.839 Joey Savatgy
8 9th 2:35.928 9 2:42.876 Austin Forkner
9 14th 2:36.063 5 2:46.614 Shane McElrath
10 4th 2:36.149 9 2:40.650 Mitchell Harrison

You'll want to note the comparison between the times in each moto. 450 moto one was way faster than 450 moto two, but 250 moto one was was slower than 250 moto two. That's how quickly things change in a mud race—the track goes from sloppy and wide open to sticky and technical, then to somewhat dry (on the main race line) in just four hours. This is so interesting that we will expand on it below.

First and Last

Rain and mud can introduce a variety of variables into racing. For example, pretty much the entire field stopped for goggles in the first moto. THAT NEVER HAPPENS. What is this, NASCAR?

The track was a sloppy mess in the first moto, so we wanted to see how it affected lap times—mainly, the first lap and the last lap. Of course, this is not an exact science. Riders could have crashed on the first lap or last lap, they could have been cruising the final lap, etc, etc. But, it is still interesting to see the difference between first lap and the last lap.

Justin Barcia, who went down on the first lap and had to charge through the field during the first timed lap, was the only rider under a ten-second difference. He was just 1.4 seconds off his first and final lap.

[Note: We used the top ten finishing order from each moto.]

450 Moto 1

Rider First Lap Last Lap Diff
Eli Tomac 2:40.2 2:54.4 14.2
Marvin Musquin 2:36.5 2:58.9 22.4
Phil Nicoletti 2:36.6 2:59.9 23.3
Benny Bloss 2:39.9 3:05.6 25.7
Blake Baggett 2:38.5 2:56.8 18.3
Kailub Russell 2:40.2 3:05.4 25.2
Ken Roczen 2:41.4 3:12.5 31.1
Justin Barcia 2:59.4 3:00.688 1.4
Weston Peick 2:47.1 3:17.5 30.4
Toshiki Tomita 2:51.1 3:15.3 21.2

The track changed a ton between the first and second motos. It was very one-lined and sticky in moto two, so it's easy to see the differences between first and last laps. In moto two, six of the top ten had faster last laps than first laps. Again, a lot of variables are in play, but it does show you how much a track can change in just a few hours.

450 Moto 2

Rider First Lap Last Lap Diff
Marvin Musquin 2:49.2 2:48.4 -.8
Eli Tomac 2:49.1 2:52.3 3.2
Justin Barcia 3:01.4 2:54.4 -7
Cooper Webb 2:51.3 2:51.0 -.3
Phil Nicoletti 2:45.1 2:59.6 14.5
Blake Baggett 3:07.4 2:45.1 -22.3
Ken Roczen 3:13.2 2:55.7 -17.5
Weston Peick 2:55.5 3:04.3 8.8
Toshiki Tomita 3:04.2 3:03.7 -.5
Benny Bloss 3:07.2 3:04.0 -3.2