No reasonable person expected Troy Bayliss to make the Main at his first Grand National. Overall, I'm sure Troy, the Lloyd Bros., and Ducati are all pretty happy with what went down in Springfield, although their weekend would've been a lot better were it not for Johnny Lewis' scary crash.
Bayliss' lap times trended down, although by some measures, all of his improvement relative to the rest of the field happened right at the beginning of the day. From Q1 on, Troy tracked along about two seconds adrift of the fastest guys.
The most interesting statistic is that, in his 8-lap Semi, Troy finished only about 7 seconds behind Jake Cunningham—the last guy to go through to the Main Event. I calculated a "Cutoff Factor" of 102%, meaning that Troy's lap times in that critical Semi were about 2% longer than they needed to be.
For all I know, Troy may make the Main at Sacto; it's a horsepower track that should suit the Ducati, although the Lloyd Bros. and Jake Johnson elected to race their Kawasaki there last year.
If Troy doesn't make the Main, I'll be looking to see improvement in that Cutoff Factor. If he does, I'll use the same statistical analysis next week to analyze his performance vis-a-vis the front runners.
In the meantime, if you want to waste 15 minutes of your life, you can watch a seriously boring and pedantic analysis of his lap times at Springfield. (I promise to get to the point quicker next Monday, after Sacto!)
Monday Morning Crew Chief from re: RevolutionaryOldIdea.com on Vimeo.