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Motocross 450 class has less depth in field than 250 class in general

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Throughout the years that I have followed this sport, going back to 1984, it has always surprised me that the best, closest racing always seems to take place in the smaller displacement class.  For example, at this weeks Unadilla MX, the 10th place rider (Pieck) was 1:50 minutes behind the leader with 2 laps to go in the first moto, while at that same point in the first 250 moto, the 10th place rider was only 57 seconds adrift of the leader.  17 riders were within 1:38 of the leader.  This sort of spread happened years ago when it was the 125/250 class, too.  I attribute this to the lack of good rides that always seems to be the case in the premier division.  There always seems to be at least twice the number of good rides available for the current 250 class, not so many 450 top-flight programs available.  Maybe it has something to do with the bikes being easier to race in the small-bore class. Even the general placings are much more predictable in the 450 class, where it is highly unlikely that the guy finishing 8th one week getting on the podium the next week, barring crashes or bike issues, but is it totally common to see a guy do that in the old 125/current 250 class.   Anyway, there is always a much bigger spread of the field in the big-bike class.  Anybody else have any other ideas on why this happens?

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 Anybody else have any other ideas on why this happens?

 

 

The cream always rises to the top

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Anyway, there is always a much bigger spread of the field in the big-bike class.  Anybody else have any other ideas on why this happens?

Riders hone skills and learn how sustain speed on the smaller, lighter bikes. Fewer can make the jump to 450s without sacrificing some aspect, and the difference exacerbates the problem. :prof:  IMO  

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Another possibility is the fact there are things (specifically, clearing some of the larger jumps) that the 250's just can't do, but if you have the stones, can be done on the 450's.  This really narrows the gap in 250's and spreads the gap in the 450's.  Over a 30 min +2 moto, those differences start to add up (in the premier class).  

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the 450 is way easier to ride on a national caliber track. lets you get lazy and not realize how slow you are going. 

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the 450 is way easier to ride on a national caliber track. lets you get lazy and not realize how slow you are going.

at the amateur level sure that could be, at the top of the premiere class? No way.

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Throughout the years that I have followed this sport, going back to 1984, it has always surprised me that the best, closest racing always seems to take place in the smaller displacement class.  For example, at this weeks Unadilla MX, the 10th place rider (Pieck) was 1:50 minutes behind the leader with 2 laps to go in the first moto, while at that same point in the first 250 moto, the 10th place rider was only 57 seconds adrift of the leader.  17 riders were within 1:38 of the leader.  This sort of spread happened years ago when it was the 125/250 class, too.  I attribute this to the lack of good rides that always seems to be the case in the premier division.  There always seems to be at least twice the number of good rides available for the current 250 class, not so many 450 top-flight programs available.  Maybe it has something to do with the bikes being easier to race in the small-bore class. Even the general placings are much more predictable in the 450 class, where it is highly unlikely that the guy finishing 8th one week getting on the podium the next week, barring crashes or bike issues, but is it totally common to see a guy do that in the old 125/current 250 class.   Anyway, there is always a much bigger spread of the field in the big-bike class.  Anybody else have any other ideas on why this happens?

Depends on the year your talking about. In 1984, my favorite year by the way, there was 4 different 250 winners but there was multiple fast guys who were close to the leaders.In the 125 class it was the O'mara and Ward show, nobody else was even in the same zip code, except at Saddleback. Its cyclical, I can name multiple years the 250 class was a good championship while the 125s were a one man show. Nobody had anything for RC for three years in the 125 class while the 250 class had several winners.But once RC moved up there was no other winners in that class ad the 125s had several winners, until Bubba came along.   Right now the 450s have 4 guys that can win an overall but realistically only one or two that can do it time and time again, its the way it is right now,it a few years it will change if all the 250 guys keep their work ethic. There is a big gap from 5 back because the top 4 are dominate riders, they all have been dominate since they were on 250s. Eli and Ken pulled miles from everyone last year, Canard and Pourcel owned everyone their year and the same goes for Dungey. These same guys have been dominate since 2009. Also, look at fifth place back and you wont even see a single champion among them, thats why they are getting smashed. 

 

There are more 250 rides, because there is two supercross series to race. Each team has 4 250 riders VS 2 450 riders. Times that by 5 or 6 teams and you see why. 

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I cant seem to find the gaps, but disregarding the 3-4 elite 450 guys, what was the gap between say 5th and 20th in the premier class?

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Depends on the year your talking about. In 1984, my favorite year by the way, there was 4 different 250 winners but there was multiple fast guys who were close to the leaders.In the 125 class it was the O'mara and Ward show, nobody else was even in the same zip code, except at Saddleback. Its cyclical, I can name multiple years the 250 class was a good championship while the 125s were a one man show. Nobody had anything for RC for three years in the 125 class while the 250 class had several winners.But once RC moved up there was no other winners in that class ad the 125s had several winners, until Bubba came along.   Right now the 450s have 4 guys that can win an overall but realistically only one or two that can do it time and time again, its the way it is right now,it a few years it will change if all the 250 guys keep their work ethic. There is a big gap from 5 back because the top 4 are dominate riders, they all have been dominate since they were on 250s. Eli and Ken pulled miles from everyone last year, Canard and Pourcel owned everyone their year and the same goes for Dungey. These same guys have been dominate since 2009. Also, look at fifth place back and you wont even see a single champion among them, thats why they are getting smashed. 

 

There are more 250 rides, because there is two supercross series to race. Each team has 4 250 riders VS 2 450 riders. Times that by 5 or 6 teams and you see why. 

wasn't it 84' when Lechien handed omara and ward their azzes at Millville?  Might have been 85 but I thought it was 84

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450 riders have more experience, so I. General, they will be better.

Open class bikes whether 500 2s or 450 4s have always had an elite few that really master the full potential of the bike. Go back to DeCosters days when riding an open class bike was an option. A handful of open riders vs a field of 250cc riders that could win GP Races.

Now, after x wins, years, or championships; riders are sent to the open class. Want to race a 60+ HP MX bike ? Too bad, you pointed out. Some riders adapt well, some get hammered by the bikes. Then there was RC, who just wanted to win and treated the bikes like a rental car at the race track. RC was pure determination and willing to push the bike to the limit.

Edited by Kev_XR
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I could be wrong on this but what I think is odd is that it should be a more even playing field in the 450s than 250s. It has to be cheaper/easier for the guys outside the top10 to be on 450s. Basically, I think average pro's 450 is closer to RD's 450 (and generally more even across the board) than say average pro's 250 compared to JMarts. So on those borderline jumps that a 250 can maybe get over, those top team's bikes are always gonna have an edge. In the 450s, i think everyone has enough bike to get over everything. I could be way off here, but just my thoughts. Either way, I agree the 250 class is better racing but I'm not really sure why. I assume it is because in the 450 class, the top guys are the absolute elite riders, in their prime. 

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