2018 Monster Energy Supercross Predictions Revisited | Scoring the Handicapper

Angels fear to tread when it comes to making season predictions in a sport such as Supercross, where injuries are an unfortunately large part of the sport.

Regardless, fortune favors the bold, and I went for it before Anaheim 1. Let’s take a look at my 2018 Monster Energy Supercross Preview back in December, and how they matched up with the actual results.

2018 Supercross Predictions Revisted Honda's Ken Roczen
Honda’s Ken Roczen

Tier 1 Prediction: Musquin. Roczen. Tomac. Result: 2 for 3.

All three riders suffered injuries that kept them out of at least one 2018 Monster Energy Supercross Championship Series round.

Marvin Musquin and Eli Tomac recovered from their injuries and rode well enough to finish in the top three. Ken Roczen’s season-ending arm injury wrecked my perfect Tier 1 prediction, and he was in the top three when he got hurt.

Grade: B+

2018 Supercross Predictions Revisted Husqvarna Jason Anderson
Husqvarna’s Jason Anderson

Tier 2 Prediction: Anderson. Baggett. Seely. Result: 1 for 3.

Jason Anderson moved up to take Roczen’s spot in Tier 1, along with the 2018 Supercross title—impressive. Blake Baggett rode inconsistently throughout the year, finishing outside of the top six in 10 of 17 rounds. However, five third-place finishes put him at the top of Tier 2 (4th through 6th).

Cole Seely was running strong, with top six finishes in six of seven rounds, but an injury ended that run. Out of nowhere, Justin Brayton jumped into Tier 2—I didn’t even have him in the top 14. Brayton scored a win at Daytona—the oldest rider to win a Supercross Main Event. Great job, Brayton.

Grade: C

Tier 3 Prediction: Grant. Tickle. Webb. Wilson. Result: 3 for 4.

With the exception of the injured Josh Grant, who had Tier 3 (7th-10th) rides in five of six rounds, I nailed this one pretty well. Cooper Webb got injured and Broc Tickle suspended for PEDs, but they still managed to hang onto the top 10.

Realistically, had Webb and Tickle not been out, they still would have had a tough time breaking into Tier 2. Dean Wilson started the year with an injury at A1, yet came back to lead the way in Tier 3, earning a podium along the way.

Grade: A-

2018 Supercross Predictions Revisted Yamaha Justin Barcia
Yamaha’s Justin Barcia

Tier 4 Prediction: Barcia. Bloss. Bogle. Peick. Result: 0 for 4.

Not much went right for me in Tier 4 (11th-14th). Justin Barcia did far better than almost anyone could have predicted. However, a mid-season injury dropped him from a possible Tier 1 finish—his average finish was an impressive 5.7—to the bottom of Tier 3, which means I still missed it.

Bloss missed the first three rounds and really didn’t get going until round 9, and he was still only nine points and one position out of Tier 4. Peick far exceeded my expectations, moving up to Tier 2 via eight top-six finishes. Justin Bogle started the year injured, had two bad rounds, and then returned to the disabled list.

Taking those four spots were inconsistent Malcolm Stewart (a fill-in rider for Autotrader/JGR/Suzuki Factory Racing’s Bogle), consistent Vince Friese (great year from Smartop/Bullfrog Spas team), struggling Chad Reed, and Tyler Bowers (late Monster Energy Kawasaki fill-in rider for Grant).

Grade: D

2018 Supercross Predictions Revisted KTM's Marvin Musquin
KTM’s Marvin Musquin

Overall 2018 Supercross Predictions: 6 for 14.

Injuries are a fact of life in Supercross, and it definitely makes it hard to make season-long predictions. In my favor, I’ll point to my top 10. I got seven of them correct, with the other three riders—Roczen, Seely, and Grant—missing out due to season-ending injuries before the halfway point. I definitely underestimated Brayton and Peick, and I would have missed out on Barcia had he not missed seven rounds with an injury.

Grade: C+

2018 Monster Energy AMA Supercross Final Standings

  1. Jason Anderson, 356 points (4 wins)
  2. Marvin Musquin, 347 (4 wins)
  3. Eli Tomac, 318 (8 wins)
  4. Blake Baggett, 285
  5. Justin Brayton, 275 (1 win)
  6. Weston Peick, 251
  7. Dean Wilson, 208
  8. Broc Tickle, 184
  9. Cooper Webb, 181
  10. Justin Barcia, 177
  11. Malcolm Stewart, 169
  12. Vince Friese, 168
  13. Chad Reed, 159
  14. Tyler Bowers, 149
  15. Benny Bloss, 140
  16. Christian Craig, 134
  17. Cole Seely, 124
  18. Ken Roczen, 102
  19. Kyle Cunningham, 99
  20. Josh Grant, 83
  21. Ben Lamay, 71
  22. Cedric Soubeyras, 65
  23. Kyle Chisholm, 48
  24. Jeremy Martin, 36
  25. Alex Ray, 36
  26. Henry Miller, 29
  27. Dakota Tedder, 26
  28. Cole Martinez, 20
  29. Adam Enticknap, 19
  30. Justin Hill, 18
  31. Austin Politelli, 18
  32. Matt Bisceglia, 15
  33. Josh Hill, 13
  34. AJ Catanzaro, 13
  35. Justin Bogle, 12
  36. Brandon Scharer, 9
  37. Dylan Merriam, 9
  38. Cody Vanbuskirk, 8
  39. Deven Raper, 6
  40. Bradley Taft, 5
  41. Cade Autenrieth, 5
  42. Jake Weimer, 5
  43. Justin Starling, 5
  44. Scott Champion, 5
  45. Carlen Gardner, 5
  46. Collin Jurin, 4
  47. Theodore Pauli, 3
  48. Dustin Pipes, 2
  49. Nick Schmidt, 1