Courtesy of RacerX
April 10, 2018 9:55am
by Jason Thomas
Last weekend’s mud-fest in Seattle could have been a golden opportunity for Marvin Musquin to gain big points on championship leader Jason Anderson. With a 35-point deficit entering the weekend, Marvin’s only chance was to win races and hope for Anderson to either crash or have some sort of mechanical problem. Mud creates a good chance for that kind of chaos to occur. After Marvin’s heat race win and knowing the task at hand, I fully expected Marvin to make the most of the main event. He didn’t have much to lose at this point and entered the main event with a 36-point gap to Eli Tomac behind him.
For Jason Anderson, he was in the exact opposite position as Marvin Musquin. He entered the main event with a 35-point lead and only five rounds to go. He doesn’t need to win races, even though I am sure he would love to. He just needs to avoid catastrophe, keep a keen eye on Marvin’s progress, and sail this ship into Las Vegas ideally with a 27-point lead. In that situation, most riders would subconsciously ride conservatively. It’s just human nature to reduce the chance of a crash or big problem. That’s what was so weird about Seattle’s main event. With Marvin’s need to win and gain every single available point and Jason’s need to keep stability and the status quo, most would predict an all-out effort from Marvin and a safe, take-no-chances ride from Jason. We got exactly the opposite.
With Jason and Marvin first and second on the first lap, I looked for Marvin to go for the win and make a big push early. Inversely, I expected Jason to take advantage of his lead and put in a safe podium ride. As we now know, they didn’t have the same plan. Jason had everything to lose by taking big chances. He was aggressive and pushing the edge, though, and also pushing himself to a big lead in the process. He had dropped the field, and by the time Tomac got into second place, the gap was already ten seconds. The points leader, with all of the pressure and logical reasons to take it easy, set the fastest lap of the race and looked to be riding carefree. That loose riding caught him on lap six, though. He cross-rutted in a rhythm section and went down, handing the lead to Eli Tomac. Jason got up and charged hard, closing the gap down to Eli on the next lap, but a few mistakes would separate the two. It was a strong ride for the #21, and although he didn’t win, he increased his points lead and left no doubt that he was still willing to be aggressive.
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RacerX 2018 Seattle Supercross Breakdown