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History Behind the Top Four After Four Rounds

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Oakland-Alameda Coliseum Oakland, CA Oakland Monster Energy AMA Supercross Championship

We’ve all got a season or two of supercross we remember as being the benchmark of good racing. Maybe you liked 2009—James Stewart launcing a season-long comeback against Chad Reed’s consistency. Maybe you liked 2006, when Ricky Carmichael and Reed came into Vegas tied for the lead, with Stewart just five points back. Maybe you liked 1990’s rookies versus veterans tussle, the nail-biting ’92 season, or all of those mid-eighties fights between the legends.

Whatever the reasoning, holding a season in awe is usually a result of tight situations and unpredictability. Well, so far 2019 has all of that and more with three winners in four rounds (two of them being first-timers), and a top four separated by just four points. Four riders separated by four points!

That’s astonishing, and the numbers back it up. We went back to the beginning of the sport and couldn’t find a tighter points race between four riders after four rounds. 

In related news, by digging into this data, we can also determine some probability of the points leader at round four winning the title. Cooper Webb leads now, and the good news for him is that the leader after round four has won the last five 450SX Titles. In history, the points leader after round 4 has won 30 of 44 titles, which is 68 percent. 

However, remember Cooper also has the smallest lead ever after four races. This is truly a wide-open series right now!

Check out the points tabulations after round four throughout supercross history. Hat tip to @sxresearchdept for helping us with some archive stats.

The bolded name went on to win the championship that season.

2019 Round 4 (Oakland)

Cooper Webb              83

Ken Roczen                  81

Eli Tomac                     80

Marvin Musquin         79

2018 Round 4 (Glendale)

Jason Anderson          89

Justin Barcia                 80

Ken Roczen                  77

Weston Peick               71

Jason Anderson led the 450SX in points after the first four rounds last season, and hoisted the Monster Energy AMA Supercross trophy after the season finale in Las Vegas.
Jason Anderson led the 450SX in points after the first four rounds last season, and hoisted the Monster Energy AMA Supercross trophy after the season finale in Las Vegas. Rich Shepherd

Ryan Dungey               89

Marvin Musquin          74

Eli Tomac                      69 (tied for third)

Cole Seely                     69

2016 Round 4 (Oakland)

Ryan Dungey               97

Jason Anderson           75 (tied for second)

Chad Reed                    75

Ken Roczen                  73

2015 (Oakland)

Ryan Dungey               82

Ken Roczen                  78

Trey Canard                 68

Eli Tomac                      64

2014 (Oakland)

Ryan Villopoto            84

Chad Reed                   77

Ken Roczen                  75 (tied for third)

Ryan Dungey               75

2013 (Oakland)

Davi Millsaps                85

Trey Canard                 78

Ryan Villopoto            77

Ryan Dungey               68

Davi Millsaps's magical 2013 run marks the most recent season where the points leader after round 4 did not go on to win the title.
Davi Millsaps's magical 2013 run marks the most recent season where the points leader after round 4 did not go on to win the title. Simon Cudby

Chad Reed                   85 (Tied)

Ryan Dungey               85

Ryan Villopoto            83

James Stewart             73

2011 (Oakland)

James Stewart             92

Ryan Villopoto            90

Ryan Dungey               78

Trey Canard                 71

2010 (San Francisco)

Ryan Dungey               90

Josh Hill                         79

Ryan Villopoto             77

Andrew Short              68

2009 (Houston)

Chad Reed                   86

James Stewart            77 (tied for second)

Josh Grant                    77

Andrew Short              71

2008 (San Francisco)

Chad Reed                   97

Kevin Windham          78

Tim Ferry                      57

Mike Alessi                  54

2007 (San Francisco)

James Stewart             97

Chad Reed                    82

Tim Ferry                      70

Ricky Carmichael        69 (retired racer on farewell tour—didn’t race round three)

2006 (San Francisco)

Ricky Carmichael        92

James Stewart              90

Chad Reed                    82

Nick Wey                       61

2005 (San Francisco)

Ricky Carmichael       95

Kevin Windham          79

Chad Reed                   69

Mike LaRocco              66

2004 San Diego

Chad Reed                   97

David Vuillemin           76

Mike LaRocco              72

Kevin Windham          71

2003 (San Francisco)

Ricky Carmichael       90

Chad Reed                   84

Tim Ferry                     74

Ezra Lusk                     71 

2002 (Phoenix)

David Vuillemin           92

Mike LaRocco              85

Travis Pastrana           66

Ricky Carmichael       62

2001 (Phoenix)

Ricky Carmichael         92 (Tied)

Jeremy McGrath            92

Mike LaRocco                78       

Ezra Lusk                        67        

2000 (Phoenix)

Jeremy McGrath         90

David Vuillemin           88

Mike LaRocco              82

Kevin Windham           76

Of McGrath's seven supercross titles, he wasn't leading after four rounds in only one of them, 1999.
Of McGrath's seven supercross titles, he wasn't leading after four rounds in only one of them, 1999. Simon Cudby

Mike LaRocco               82 

Jeremy McGrath         79

Mickael Pichon            66

Ezra Lusk                      65

1998 (Seattle)

Jeremy McGrath         89

Ezra Lusk                      77

Larry Ward                   53 

1997 (Seattle)

Doug Henry                 87

Larry Ward                  74

Jeremy McGrath         70

Jeff Emig                      65

1996 (Seattle)

Jeremy McGrath         100

Ryan Hughes                59

Jeff Emig                        51

Ezra Lusk                       40       

1995 (Seattle)

Jeremy McGrath         100

Larry Ward                    82

Mike Kiedrowski           73

Jeff Emig                         62       

1994 (San Diego)

Jeremy McGrath         100

Jeff Emig                         61

Mike Kiedrowski           59

Mike LaRocco                58       

1993 (Seattle)

Jeremy McGrath         84

Damon Bradshaw       81

Jeff Stanton                  74

Mike Kiedrowski          73 

1992 (Seattle)

Damon Bradshaw       93

Jeff Statnton                80

Jean-Michel Bayle        77

Guy Cooper                  65

Jeff Staton had three years where although not leading after the fourth round, he made a comeback to win the championship (1989, 1990, and 1992).
Jeff Staton had three years where although not leading after the fourth round, he made a comeback to win the championship (1989, 1990, and 1992). Courtesy Cycle News

Jean-Michel Bayle       88

Jeff Stanton                   84

Damon Bradshaw        77

Mike Kiedrowski           63

1990 (Seattle)

Jeff Matiasevich           76

Larry Ward                   74

Jeff Stanton                 70

Mike LaRocco              59 

1989 (San Diego)

Rick Johnson               100

Jeff Stanton                  80

Guy Cooper                  72

Ron Tichenor               53

1988 (Daytona)

Rick Johnson               92

Jeff Ward                       89

Ron Lechien                 80

Broc Glover                  57

Rick Johnson, shown here at Anaheim in 1986, went on to win the 1986 and 1988 championships after leading through four rounds. He also led the points after four rounds in 1987, but Jeff Ward would win the championship at the end of the season. Johnson and Ward battled injuries in '87 while still battling for the title, also. Because they're gnarly.
Rick Johnson, shown here at Anaheim in 1986, went on to win the 1986 and 1988 championships after leading through four rounds. He also led the points after four rounds in 1987, but Jeff Ward would win the championship at the end of the season. Johnson and Ward battled injuries in '87 while still battling for the title, also. Because they're gnarly. Fran Kuhn

Rick Johnson               92

Jeff Ward                     89

Ron Lechien                80

Broc Glover                 57

1986 (Seattle 1)

Rick Johnson               89

David Bailey                 79

Jeff Ward                      72

Johnny O’Mara            69

1985 (Seattle 2)

Broc Glover                 Leader

Rick Johnson               -12

Johnny O’Mara          

Jeff Ward                   

The series used a two-moto format in 1985.

In 1985, Jeff Ward won the championship even though Broc Glover was the points leader through the first four rounds. Glover chipped a bone in his wrist and Wardy made a run.
In 1985, Jeff Ward won the championship even though Broc Glover was the points leader through the first four rounds. Glover chipped a bone in his wrist and Wardy made a run. Dick Miller Archives

Jeff Ward                     168

Johnny O’Mara          165     

Rick Johnson               156

Mark Barnett              135

1983 (Atlanta)

Bob Hannah                118

David Bailey                107

Mark Barnett               101

Jeff Ward                       76

1982 (Atlanta)

Donnie Hansen           95

Darrell Shultz               94

Bob Hannah                 84

Johnny O’Mara             78

1981 (Atlanta)

Mark Barnett              101

Kent Howerton            91

Mike Bell                       88 

Darrell Shultz               84

1980 (Atlanta)

Mike Bell                     86

Chuck Sun                   82

Kent Howerton           75

Jim Gibson                   69

1979 (Atlanta)

Bob Hannah                98

Jim Weinert                  70

Darrell Shultz              63

Danny LaPorte            55

In 1979 and 1977, Bob Hannah had the points lead after the first four rounds and went on to win the championship both years. However, in 1978 Hannah was in second through four rounds with Marty Tripes out front. Hannah then reeled off a huge win streak to grab the title. But in '83, Hannah was building a points lead before a wrist injury ended his run.
In 1979 and 1977, Bob Hannah had the points lead after the first four rounds and went on to win the championship both years. However, in 1978 Hannah was in second through four rounds with Marty Tripes out front. Hannah then reeled off a huge win streak to grab the title. But in '83, Hannah was building a points lead before a wrist injury ended his run. Dick Miller Archives

Marty Tripes               130

Bob Hannah               111

Kent Howerton            74

Steve Wise                    67 

1977 (Houston 2)

Bob Hannah                95

Jim Pomeroy                91 

1976 (Pontiac)

Jim Weinert                  288

Kent Howerton             274

Pierre Karsmakers       257

Jimmy Ellis                     221

1975 (LA) – SERIES ONLY HAD 4 ROUNDS

Jimmy Ellis                  450

Marty Smith                248

Rich Eierstedt              228

Kent Howerton           210 

1974 – SERIES ONLY HAD 3 ROUNDS

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