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2024 Supercross Round 9, Birmingham by the numbers: Three riders chase Jett Lawrence at halfway

The Monster Energy Supercross Series visits Alabama for the first time since 1984 but there are still plenty of numbers to sort through this week as the season hits the halfway point.

Located only 150 miles west of Atlanta, this race gives Georgia fans a place to attend with Atlanta Motor Speedway's hybrid track off the schedule for the moment and with Talladega Superspeedway and Barber Motorsports Park just around the corner, fans of fast abound.

Last year Chase Sexton won in the region with a victory over Justin Barcia and Ken Roczen in Atlanta.

After weeks of following more than a half-dozen riders embroiled in the closest points' battle in history, Daytona started to separate the several from the many. Ken Roczen (fifth), Jason Anderson (ninth), and Aaron Plessinger (18th) have cumulatively lost enough points to make the second half of 2024 challenging. It's not so much that they have insurmountable deficits, but they need to get around Eli Tomac, Chase Sexton and Cooper Webb before they can set their sights on Jett Lawrence.

Lawrence is not in the clear yet and he has made his fair share of mistakes in 2024. This week will be critical for the four riders involved.

Dominating Daytona and earning maximum points to add to his lead, Lawrence controls his fate for the second half and there is not a rider in the field that would want anything else. More importantly, it was a different Lawrence who raced at Daytona. After winning his heat, he talked about 'taking care of business' with all the seriousness that implied.

After the race, he referenced it again and then broke down just how important it was to race the track. The kid is rapidly maturing and that could spell trouble for the field.

According to Clinton Fowler at WeWentFast.com, the gap to Anderson is now 29 points compared to a historical average of 72 so the numbers certainly remain interesting. Plessinger is -28 with Roczen -27, so they are now one full race out of the lead.

Riders can come from behind at this stage of the season. In 1983. David Bailey made up 38 points on Bob Hannah after Round 8 to win the title. A deficit in the lows 20s has been overcome three occasions, most recently when Ryan Villopoto ran down Davi Millsaps in 2013 to erase a 22-point gap after Round 8.

After failing to win Daytona for the first time in six years, Tomac knew exactly where he lost the race. In post-race interviews he said he didn't take the risk to quad the rhythm sooner and Fowler ran the numbers to prove that true: Tomac lost nearly a second (0.904) to Jett in that segment of the track.

In the 250 class, Tom Vialle kept a tradition alive. There have been nine French riders in Supercross history, and they have now all won at least one race. Christophe Purcel has the most with 12, but Marvin Musquin is a close second at 11.

It is also notable that the 250 East division has hosted first-time winners in back-to-back week. Haiden Deegan won his first SX race two weeks ago in Arlington.

While some separation is beginning in the 450 division, the points' battle remains close in 250 East mostly because the first three races all have asterisks. A major pileup taking out half the field in Detroit, Austin Forkner's massive crash in Arlington and a soggy, muddy track in Daytona have combined to separate the top seven by only eight points. With back-to-back second-place finishes Cameron McAdoo has as much momentum as Vialle with his third and first in the last two races.

Supercross has achieved record attendance in each of their last four races and heading to a new venue that streak is going to stay alive. The maximum capacity of Protective Stadium at the University of Alabama at Birmingham is 47,100.

Previous Alabama Winners

250s
1984: Jeff Ward (Followed by Mark Barnett, Scott Burnworth)

By The Numbers

Daytona
Arlington
Glendale
Detroit
Anaheim 2
San Diego
San Francisco

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