Moto Metrics: Thunder Valley Breakdown

Moto Metrics: Thunder Valley Breakdown

Key Highlights:

  • Lawrence Brothers' Unique Strategies: Jett and Hunter tackled the track in different ways but dominated together, securing 19 of the top 30 fastest lap times. Jett excelled in the upper sections, while Hunter took charge in the valley.

  • Moto 2 Slower by 2.5 Seconds: Moto 2 was over 2.5 seconds slower than Moto 1 due to rough track conditions, unexpected rain, and strong winds. Despite this, Jett Lawrence still recorded the fastest times in both 450 motos, but the 250s were more consistent according to LITPro's Consistency Scoring system despite racing last.

  • Ty Masterpool's Surprise Consistency: Ty Masterpool amazed everyone by scoring a 92.35 in LITPro's Ten Lap Consistency system after just three rides on his Pro Circuit Kawasaki. In the 450s, Hunter Lawrence scored an impressive 95.05.

  • Deep Competition in 250 Class: The 250 class is incredibly competitive. Both Swoll and Shimoda had fastest segment times but didn't make the overall podium. Shimoda even had the fastest average lap time in Moto 2, despite Hymas's blazing breakout performance.

  • Justin Cooper's Strong Performance: Justin Cooper is challenging the Lawrences, securing holeshots in both motos and leading for 23 out of 32 laps. His consistent performances and fast lap times almost earned him the top spot in the power rankings.

    Nestled in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains just outside of Denver, CO, Thunder Valley Motocross Park celebrated its 20th Pro Motocross race on June 8th, 2024. The weekend was marked with unpredictable weather, breakout performances, and the unique challenge of bike efficiency at high altitudes. But beyond these storylines another narrative unfolds at each race—the analytical story. 

    Each week, join us as we deep dive into rider, track, and race metrics, offering a fresh perspective on Pro Motocross. 

    450 Analysis:

    Despite Justin Cooper's best efforts, securing holeshots in both Moto 1 and Moto 2, and leading for 11 and 12 laps respectively, it ultimately turned into a Lawrence brother weekend. The Australian duo for HRC Honda showcased their dominance with Jett Lawrence clinching the overall victory, and 13th of his career. 

    Track Breakdown:

    Each track is composed of five distinct segments, allowing Live Timing to capture riders' times, position, overall lap times, and more. While there are various methods to identify the top rider in each segment, such as the fastest time, we've chosen to spotlight consistency in line with out June Consistency Challenge. We've focused on the rider with the lowest average time across each segment throughout both motos. Unsurprisingly, further asserting the Lawrence brother dominance, Jett and Hunter comfortably secured the top spot in every segment. 

    The table below showcases each rider's lowest average segment time, fastest time, and LITPro's 10-lap consistency score. While some riders managed to achieve quicker lap times or higher consistency scores in either Moto, none were both faster and more consistent than the Lawrence brothers.

    SEG Rider Average
    Time
    Fastest
    Time
    Consistency
    Score
    1 Hunter Lawrence 19.446 19.055 91.4
    2 Jett Lawrence 33.835 32.592 88.1
    3 Jett Lawrence 30.347 29.387 82
    4 Hunter Lawrence 24.607 24.008 89.6
    5 Hunter Lawrence 29.431 28.645 85.8

     

    However, having a fast segment does not always equate to being able to put together both consistency laps at blistering speeds. 

    Lap Time Breakdown:

    The image above represents a detailed histogram showcasing the lap times of each rider in both Moto 1 (red) and Moto 2 (blue) at Thunder Valley. The histogram illustrates how track conditions change between motos. Each bar represents the frequency of lap times within approximately half-second intervals, allowing us to visualize the distribution and concentration of lap times. The Lawrence brothers also managed to secure 19 of the 30 top fastest lap times.

    The top portion features individual lap markers indicating the precise time when each lap was completed, providing a granular view of lap times. Several key takeaways emerge from this graphic:

    • Moto 1 was generally quicker than Moto 2. Jett Lawrence recorded the fastest times in both motos with 2:14.874 in Moto 1 and 2:16.763 in Moto 2. However, on average, Moto 2 was nearly 2.5 seconds slower than Moto 1.

    • Moto 1 started off quickly before settling into a more consistent rhythm (indicated by the dense cluster of times around 145s (2:25). The leaders of the race are between 135s (2:15) and 140s (2:20).

    • Moto 2 lap times were more widely distributed showing not only were riders battling tough track conditions, but they were also more inconsistent. Removing outliers, LITPro's 10 lap Consistency score for Moto 1 ranged from 87-93 points, but dipped for Moto 2 to 82-93.

       

      450 Moto 1 Top 5 Average Lap Times 

      RIDER

      MOTO

      Average
      Time
      Fastest
      Time
      LAP 99

      Consistency

      H. Lawrence M1 2:16.569 2:15.28 2:14.58 93.9
      J. Lawrence M1 2:17.050 2:14.874 2:13.64 89.9
      J. Cooper M1 2:18.147 2:15.437 2:14.17 90.7
      A. Plessinger M1 2:18.774 2:17.215 2:16.33 93
      J. Barcia M1 2:18.822 2:16.526 2:15.90 92.3

      450 Moto 2 Top 5 Average Lap Times 

      RIDER MOTO Average
      Time
      Fastest
      Time
      LAP 99

      Consistency

      J. Lawrence M2 2:18.582 2:16.763 2:15.857 94.4
      H. Lawrence M2 2:18.706 2:17.482 2:15.924 96.2
      J. Cooper M2 2:19.798 2:17.931 2:17.044 95.2
      J. Anderson M2 2:19.985 2:18.319 2:17.514 87.7
      C. Sexton M2 2:18.623 2:18.623 2:16.442 92.9

       

      Overall Performance:

      • Jett Lawrence consistently recorded top performance across both motos, securing the fastest second fastest average time in Moto 1 (2:17.050) and fastest in Moto 2 (2:18.582). He also achieved the fastest overall lap time in both motos.
      • Hunter Lawrence also performed exceptionally well, particularly in Moto 2 where he had the highest consistency score (96.2) and a strong average lap time (2:18.706).

      LITPro 10-Lap Consistency Scores:

      • Despite earlier claims that Moto 2 was more inconsistent than Moto 1, consistency was generally higher in Moto 2 compared to Moto 1 for the top tier riders. This clearly indicates that while the lap times were slower, riders were able to fall back on their training to put together solid laps.
      • Hunter Lawrence stood out with the highest consistency score in both motos, and was the most consistent rider of the weekend. 

      Lap 99 Analysis:

      *Lap 99 takes each riders' best segment time regardless of lap and combines them as a theoretical best lap time.
      • Jett Lawrence achieved the fastest possible lap in both motos, with an impressive 2:13.64 in Moto 1 and 2:15.857 in Moto 2.
      • Justin Cooper and Hunter Lawrence also demonstrated notable peak lap times, all other riders were generally over a second off the pace. 

      Lap Time Distribution for Top 10 

      The box plot above illustrates the distribution of lap times for each of the top 10 overall finishers by moto (sorted top to bottom by fastest lap). Here’s a breakdown of what each component represents:

      • Box: The box represents the interquartile range (IQR), showing where the middle 50% of all lap times fall. This includes the 25th percentile (Q1) to the 75th percentile (Q3).
      • Whiskers: The whiskers extend to the typical minimum and maximum lap times for each rider, excluding outliers.
      • Outlier Dots: Any dots outside the whiskers represent outlier lap times, which fall well outside the expected range.
      • Median Line: The bar inside the box marks the median lap time, providing a central value for the rider’s performance.

      Generally, a smaller box, the more consistent the rider. For instance, Hunter Lawrence, identified as the most consistent rider, clearly has the tightest boxes for both motos. 

      Power Rankings:

      Putting everything together, rankings for each rider can be established. The table below showcases the key metrics used to determine the weekend's top riders, and crucial for shaping weekly power rankings.

        *Coloring from red-to-green only highlights disparity between top 10 and not representative of the entire field. All of these riders are near the top compared to the rest of the riders. 

      Every metric undergoes normalization, scaling from 0 to 1, and is then assigned a weight. This weighting is vital; for instance, winning a Moto carries more weight than starting position, which, in turn, holds more significance than qualifying position. According to this methodology, Jett Lawrence secures the lead spot with 95.78 points, closely trailed by Justin Cooper (95.58) and Hunter Lawrence (95.57). While it is not uncommon for the overall winner to also have the highest power ranking score, Justin Cooper's impressive starts as well as having lead three quarters of both motos nearly put him on the top step. 

      Latest Power Rankings:

      Rank Rider Power Ranking Change
      1 Hunter Lawrence 92 +1
      2 Chase Sexton 88.9 -1
      3 Jett Lawrence 86.8 +1
      4 Justin Cooper 86.5 +1
      5 Aaron Plessinger 82.8 -2
      6 Jason Anderson 81.6 NC
      7 Justin Barcia 78.4 +1
      8 Dylan Ferrandis 77.2 -1
      9 Malcolm Stewart 74.8 NC
      10 Freddie Noren 68.5 NC

       

      250 Analysis:

      What I love about the 250 class is just how unpredictable it is. This is due to two parts. First, they are more inexperienced riders, thus leading to more inconsistencies on the track and wild races. Second, the field is deep. Realistically, any of the top 10-15 riders each week could be battling for the podium. This makes the races fun and each one a unique experience; however, the data tells different story. While these breakdowns won't be as in-depth as the 450 class, pay attention to the unique names that appear towards the top. 

       

      Immediately, it becomes clear that no single rider dominates the 250 class around the entire track like the Lawrence brothers did this weekend. Only Haiden Deegan managed to secure lowest average time in multiple sections, while riders like Shimoda and Swoll both found speed in parts of the track even though they were not on the podium.

      SEG Rider Average
      Time
      Fastest
      Time
      Consistency
      Score
      1 Jalek Swoll 20.188 19.841 89.2
      2 Haiden Deegan 34.906 33.841 86.5
      3 Tom Vialle 31.416 30.115 88.3
      4 Jo Shimoda 25.390 24.377 88.7
      5 Haiden Deegan 29.631 28.777 82.5

       

      Although these riders may not have the experience of the 450 class, that still does not stop them from setting quick speeds and even rivaling consistency scores seen in the 450 class. 

      Lap Time Breakdown:

      Although Moto 1 once again featured the quickest times as well as the only times below 2:20 for the class. As I'll soon demonstrate, Moto 2 was much slower than Moto 1. Since the second Moto of the 250 class was the last race of the day, it is unsurprising that the top riders fell off the pace. For both motos, the LITPro 10-Lap Consistency Scores were between 85-92 for most riders.

      250 Moto 1 Top 5 Average Lap Times 

      RIDER

      MOTO

      Average
      Time
      Fastest
      Time
      LAP 99

      Consistency

      H. Deegan M1 2:20.321 2:18.324 2:17.44 93.9
      T. Vialle M1 2:20.664 2:18.655 2:17.41 95.6
      J. Shimoda M1 2:21.247 2:20.109 2:18.44 91.8
      L. Kitchen M1 2:21.338 2:18.860 2:18.11 88.8
      C. Hymas M1 2:21.655 2:19.576 2:18.85 90.5

      250 Moto 2 Top 5 Average Lap Times 

      RIDER

      MOTO

      Average
      Time
      Fastest
      Time
      LAP 99

      Consistency

      J. Shimoda M2 2:23.194 2:21.742 2:20.77 92.3
      C. Hymas M2 2:23.203 2:21.154 2:19.83 87.7
      H. Deegan M2 2:23.393 2:21.350 2:19.94 87.9
      T. Masterpool M2 2:24.278 2:22.668 2:21.28 91.8
      T. Vialle M2 2:24.332 2:21.502 2:19.97 83.7

      Overall Performance:

      • Haiden Deegan set the quickest pace in Moto 1 with a time of 2:18.324, as well as the top average lap time at 2:20.321.
      • While Chance Hymas set the fastest overall time of Moto 2 with 2:21.154, it was Jo Shimoda who quietly set the fastest average time at 2:23.194.

      LITPro 10-Lap Consistency Scores:

      • Although the score ranges for consistency between motos were the same, the average score dropped by nearly 2 points for Moto 2. Vialle (95.6) set the highest score for Moto 1, while Shimoda (92.3) complimented his fastest average time with the highest score for Moto 2.
      • Ty Masterpool set the highest consistency score for a rider inside the top 10 with an average of 92.35

      Lap 99 Analysis:

      *Lap 99 takes each riders' best segment time regardless of lap and combines them as a theoretical best lap time.
      • The 250 class is clearly riding at the limitations of their machines, but in Moto 1, Deegan and Vialle had potential to go nearly 3 seconds faster than their quickest times.
      • The track conditions meant slower possible times for Moto 2, with Deegan's average time in Moto 1 eclipsing his Lap 99 time in Moto 2.

      Lap Time Distribution for Top 10

      On average, riders clocked in nearly 3 seconds slower in Moto 2 compared to their times in Moto 1. What's intriguing is that many riders actually posted faster lap times in Moto 1 than what they achieved on their Lap 99 potential in Moto 2. Adding another layer to the challenge was the scheduling twist. Typically, the 250 class takes to the track before the 450 class, but Thunder Valley flipped the script, granting the 250s the privilege (or perhaps, the challenge) of riding what would become the toughest moto of the day.

      Mother Nature further complicated matters with a 10-minute downpour just before the gate dropped, followed by  30mph wind gusts throughout the entire race. These adverse weather conditions combined with the atypical schedule made it exceedingly difficult for riders to replicate the speeds seen in Moto 1.

      Power Rankings:

      *Coloring from red-to-green only highlights disparity between top 10 and not representative of the entire field. All of these riders are near the top compared to the rest of the riders. 

      Unsurprisingly, Haiden Deegan topped the ratings this week with a score of 97.3, while Chance Hymas (95.1) and Tom Vialle (92.8) rounded out the podium.

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      1 comment

      Very cool and informative. Do this for every race, please.

      Eric

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