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What Really Happened at Daytona?

By Fowlers Facts

Our intent with this column is to cut through the opinions and hyperbole of what was said or what people thought they saw. This is a facts based approach to breaking down what really happened on the track. Agree or disagree, let me know what you think on Twitter or Instagram

Jett Lawrence won in one segment

Jett Lawrence was the 24th winner of the Daytona supercross this past weekend. He ended Eli Tomac’s 5 year win streak and extended his series lead by +7 points over Cooper Webb. Beating Eli Tomac at Daytona is impressive considering he’d won 7 of 10 starts at the venue and only missed the podium once (and that was in a temporary 450 ride before his official rookie season).

Jett Lawrence at AMA Supercross Series Round 08 at Daytona Speedway in Daytona, FL, USA on March 02, 2024. // Garth Milan

Most interesting is how he won. Unlike his previous 2 victories where he led wire-to-wire, his victory in Daytona was the result of doing a quadruple jump (an actual quad, not one of those 2 singles and a table quads) in segment 3. In segment 3 alone, over the 14 lap main event, Jett Lawrence had a +12.6 advantage (see green bar below). In the other 4 segments, Eli Tomac had a combined +5.7 second advantage (see red bars below). If the #3 Yamaha rider had been doing the quad to start the main event, it’s quite possible he’d be an 8x Daytona winner.

Jett Lawrence vs. Eli Tomac – Cumulative Segment Time Differences

This was not lost on Eli Tomac. In the press conference he was very direct in saying “It cost me any chance at the win”. Considering Jett passed Eli Tomac and Justin Cooper to win their heat race, doing this quad, it’s surprising that Eli waited till late in the main to start jumping it. But here’s the silver lining – Eli had him covered in the rest of the track. It’s not an 8th Daytona win, but it has to be a confidence booster for Eli Tomac.

“It was just a mistake. I wish I would’ve caught on to it earlier. Took a little more risk.”

Eli Tomac – referencing not jumping the segment 3 quad earlier in the main event.

You can watch the full press conference here.

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Another view of it shows that Jett Lawrence may have his own version of Eli Tomac’s “beast mode”. Below you can see the difference in lap times over the 14 lap main event. For the first 4 laps, it was basically even. But starting on lap 5 thru lap 10, Jett Lawrence was +14.394 faster than Eli Tomac. Most impressive were laps 6 and 9 where he was over 4 seconds faster! Say that again… Jett Lawrence was 4 seconds faster than Eli Tomac in 2 different laps in Daytona. I’d have bet otherwise before the race.

Jett Lawrence vs Eli Tomac – Lap Time Differences

Last note here – finding an advantage in one segment is not uncommon. This happened in Glendale earlier this season when Ken Roczen had a 0.2 advantage in one segment.

Eli Tomac and Jett Lawrence, Daytona Round 8 2024. Photo: Octopi Media

Other Notable 450 Rides

Dylan Ferrandis finished 8th but that was a result of going over the bars on lap 9 of 14 (see Instagram post below) while running 4th place. Looking at his lap times, he had podium speed in laps 3 and 5-6 prior to his crash on lap 9 (see the blue shaded table below). He’s not been one of the title contenders this season, but he’s been the next best rider on a PRIVATEER effort. He continues to impress!

Justin Cooper, in his first full season on the 450’s, got his season best finish of 6th in Daytona. Looking at his lap times, his second half is notable. On lap 9 he set the 2nd fastest time and he was inside the top 5 lap times from lap 9 to lap 13. Keep an eye on #32 Star Racing Yamaha rider in Birmingham to see if he can replicate that same speed on a more traditional supercross track.

Last but not least, how about Benny Bloss getting his first top 10 of the season and Beta’s first ever top 10. He didn’t have blistering speed, but instead was incredible consistent. 12 of his 13 laps ranked between 9th and 12th. We’ve heard they’ve been doing a lot of testing and this finish looks to be a good indicator it’s working.

Daytona 450SX Lap Rankings

What else do you notice? Jason Anderson’s lap 4 looks like he crashed and lap 14 is indicative of fans running onto the race track. Justin Barcia’s lap 11 looks like a crash as well. Hit us up on Instagram or Twitter with your thoughts.