Realistically, even a Toyota AOY is going to have a letdown somewhere along the way. A key seems to be when he has it. Have it too early and it gets the entire season off on the wrong foot. Bomb in the first tournament and you may find yourself pressing in the next. Pretty soon, one bad tournament snowballs into three … or four … or a full season.
Have the bad tournament late and you get run down from behind. There are almost always a few competitors within striking distance if the leader has a bad day at the last event.
In Elite history, the eventual AOYs were uncanny in this timing element. None of them had their worst tournament in the first event … or the second … or even the third. They started strong.
Likewise, none of them had their worst showing in the last tournament. And only one had his worst finish in the penultimate event. If you’re going to have a hiccup, sandwich it somewhere in the middle.