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Sign of the (Lap) Times: RedBud

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Going into RedBud things were heating up in the 450 Class. Little verbal jabs had been thrown in the press conferences and on Twitter by Blake Baggett, Eli Tomac, and Jason Anderson, and the points battle was tighter than we have seen it in years. 

This past weekend, though, Tomac may have delivered a huge blow to Baggett's championship hopes as he went 1-1 on the day and earned a 13-point lead in the championship as Baggett fell in the second moto and could only work his way up to 10th. 

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.

450 Class Moto 1

Lap Rank Finish Best Lap On Lap Avg Lap Time Rider
1 1st 2:03.084 17 2:05.538 Eli Tomac
2 2nd 2:03.262 16 2:05.747 Blake Baggett
3 4th 2:04.507 7 2:07.608 Jason Anderson
4 3rd 2:05.172 7 2:07.631 Marvin Musquin
5 9th 2:06.535 5 2:10.242 Justin Bogle
6 7th 2:06.715 6 2:10.134 Justin Barcia
7 5th 2:07.242 7 2:09.026 Christian Craig
8 6th 2:07.956 4 2:09.946 Cole Seely
9 10th 2:08.054 5 2:09.678 Josh Grant
10 8th 2:08.460 11 2:09.873 Dean Wilson

450 Class Moto 2

Lap Rank Finish Best Lap On Lap Avg Lap Time Rider
1 1st 2:04.870 10 2:07.173 Eli Tomac
2 2nd 2:05.641 10 2:08.327 Jason Anderson
3 4th 2:05.918 4 2:09.038 Weston Peick
4 10th 2:05.974 7 2:10.296 Blake Baggett
5 6th 2:06.010 3 2:09.854 Justin Barcia
6 3rd 2:06.324 6 2:08.327 Marvin Musquin
7 5th 2:06.669 5 2:09.192 Josh Grant
8 7th 2:06.845 5 2:09.315 Justin Bogle
9 9th 2:07.977 7 2:10.584 Cole Seely
10 8th 2:08.228 7 2:09.862 Dean Wilson

250 Class Moto 1

Lap Rank Finish Best Lap On Lap Avg Lap Time Rider
1 1st 2:05.806 5 2:07.232 Jeremy Martin
2 2nd 2:05.917 6 2:07.408 Zach Osborne
3 3rd 2:06.012 13 2:07.487 Alex Martin
4 5th 2:06.500 3 2:09.193 Dylan Ferrandis
5 4th 2:06.676 3 2:09.229 Austin Forkner
6 6th 2:06.687 3 2:09.474 Aaron Plessinger
7 9th 2:06.865 4 2:09.848 Shane McElrath
8 36th 2:06.967 2 2:09.253 RJ Hampshire
9 7th 2:07.468 3 2:09.629 Mitchell Harrison
10 12th 2:07.618 7 2:11.141 Chase Sexton

250 Class Moto 2

Lap Rank Finish Best Lap On Lap Avg Lap Time Rider
1 11th 2:06.611 6 2:11.808 Aaron Plessinger
2 3rd 2:06.621 4 2:09.506 Alex Martin
3 8th 2:06.710 6 2:09.644 Jeremy Martin
4 1st 2:06.808 3 2:08.796 Zach Osborne
5 2nd 2:07.608 4 2:09.408 Mitchell Harrison
6 4th 2:07.833 7 2:09.231 Dylan Ferrandis
7 6th 2:07.926 4 2:10.293 Luke Renzland
8 7th 2:08.102 7 2:10.152 Chase Sexton
9 12th 2:08.196 6 2:12.258 Colt Nichols
10 5th 2:08.480 3 2:10.027 Justin Hill

Tomac vs Baggett: Moto 1

We've been waiting all season for a straight-up one-on-one battle between Tomac and Baggett and we pretty much got that toward the end of the first moto. Tomac started the moto behind Baggett and eventually made his way into the lead as Baggett struggled to find the pace early. Then, in classic El Chupacabra fashion, Baggett started to drop his lap times around the halfway point of the race. On the second to last lap, Baggett had chopped the gap to Tomac down to just over a second, but then Tomac put the nail in the coffin by logging in the fastest lap of the motos on the very last lap of the race.

Here's what Tomac had to say about Baggett reeling him in toward the end of the moto: "It was a combination of a couple things. One was lappers and then I made a mistake on the second to last lap before that table top. I stepped out and he probably gained easily a second right here. He was right on me. It got close at the end but we were able to hang onto it and that’s what matters."

Take a look at their lap times and the distance between the two for the race.

Tomac's Lap Times Baggett's Lap Times Tomac's Distance to Baggett
-1.854
2:07.577 2:08.285 -1.146
2:07.022 2:07.455 -0.713
2:06.496 2:09.251 2.042
2:05.206 2:05.484 2.32
2:05.266 2:06.335 3.389
2:03.993 2:04.529 3.925
2:05.115 2:05.770 4.58
2:05.801 2:05.735 4.514
2:04.589 2:05.690 5.615
2:05.801 2:05.922 5.736
2:05.420 2:05.505 5.821
2:07.648 2:04.550 2.723
2:06.293 2:06.028 2.458
2:04.512 2:04.621 2.567
2:04.785 2:03.262 1.044
2:03.084 2:03.533 1.493

J-Mart vs Osborne: Moto 1

The 250 Class press conferences are pretty much the exact opposite of the 450 Class press conferences. They're light hearted, relaxed, and the riders will feed off of each others answers. The battles on the track are anything but relaxed, though. 

In the first 250 moto, Jeremy Martin and Zach Osborne ran first and second respectively for the entire race and were in a tight battle until the last two laps when Osborne's times finally dropped off. The championship for the 250 guys may have cooled off a bit but with battles like this, they are delivering some of the most exciting racing this year. 

Jeremy Martin Zach Osborne
2:07.00 2:06.728
2:06.037 2:05.924
2:06.154 2:06.219
2:05.806 2:06.243
2:06.402 2:05.917
2:06.650 2:06.652
2:06.942 2:06.460
2:06.848 2:07.493
2:08.936 2:09.061
2:07.077 2:08.055
2:08.236 2:08.270
2:07.140 2:06.585
2:07.280 2:06.470
2:07.843 2:07.707
2:07.085 2:09.344
2:10.288 2:11.410

The Leap

At RedBud, the debate in the 250 Class always seems to be whether or not to go for LaRocco's Leap. In the first moto, J-Mart went for it while Osborne chose not to. I timed both of them from the moment they left the lip of the jump until they reached a stack of hay bales in the following corner and it turned out to be about .3 seconds faster to jump The Leap. 

In the post-race press conference, Osborne did acknowledge that it was a little faster to jump, but felt he could make up that time on other parts of the track. He said, "I think jumping it takes a little bit of pressure off of you for the rest of the lap. You have to be a little bit more perfect around the track to not jump it and still be fast. But I think you can make it up."