Pagenaud, Bourdais lead IndyCar Long Beach second practice

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Throughout most of the second 45-minute session for the Verizon IndyCar Series’ Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach, the field was tight – within a second for all 23 cars. As it was, the top 19 ended within 0.9377 of a second, with the field covered by just 1.4354.

Andretti Autosport’s Ryan Hunter-Reay led most of the session before Justin Wilson, driving for Dale Coyne Racing, got ahead of him at 1:09.7016. Only two drivers made it into the 1:09 bracket in first practice, led by RHR’s Andretti teammate James Hinchcliffe.

It was close until Simon Pagenaud dropped a 1:09.1488 in the newly liveried blue, white and green No. 77 Charter Honda for Schmidt Peterson Motorsports that put him up by more than half a second.

“It’s been good thus far,” said Pagenaud. “The Honda is behaving really well; the drivability is right there. We have good power delivery.”

But his countryman got within 0.012 of a second, with Sebastien Bourdais second in the No. 11 Mistic Electronic Cigarettes Chevrolet for KVSH Racing at 1:09.1608. Bourdais said the balance is good on his car.

Both are past Long Beach race winners; Pagenaud won the 2010 American Le Mans Series race, with Bourdais a three-time winner in the Champ Car ranks from 2005 through 2007.

A second Charter-sponsored entry, the No. 98 BHA/BBM Honda driven by rookie Jack Hawksworth, clocked in third at 1:09.4409.

The last two Long Beach race winners, Takuma Sato and Will Power, completed the top five.

Times are linked here; the session had no red flags.

Peacock to stream all Supercross and Motocross races in 2023, plus inaugural SuperMotocross Championship

Peacock Supercross Motocross 2023
Feld Entertainment, Inc.
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NBC Sports and Feld Motor Sports announced that Peacock and the NBC family of networks will stream all 31 races of the combined Monster Energy Supercross, Lucas Oil Pro Motocross and the newly created SuperMotocross World Championship beginning January 7, 2023 at Angel Stadium in Anaheim, California and ending October 14 in the place where Supercross was born: the Los Angeles Coliseum.

The combined series will create a 10-month calendar of events, making it one of the longest professional sports’ seasons in the United States.

The agreement is for multiple years. The season finale will air live on Peacock and the USA Network.

Peacock will present live coverage of all races, qualifying and heats across both series. The 31 total races will mark a record for the combined number of Supercross and Pro Motocross events that NBC Sports will present in a single season.

NBC, USA Network and CNBC will provide coverage of all races, including the SuperMotocross World Championship Playoffs and Final, through 2023 and beyond. For more information about the Peacock streaming service, click here.

“With our wide array of live and original motorsports offerings, Peacock is a natural home for Supercross and Pro Motocross races,” said Rick Cordella, Chief Commercial Officer, Peacock. “We’re looking forward to providing fans with an easily-accessible destination to find every race all season long, including the exciting finish with the newly formed SuperMotocross World Championship.”

MORE: A conversation about media rights created the new SuperMotocross World Championship Series

The NBC family of networks has been home to Supercross for the past several seasons and this is a continuation of that relationship. The media rights for both series expired at the end of 2022, which allowed Supercross and Motocross to combine their efforts.

In fact, it was that conversation that led to the formation of the SuperMotocross World Championship (SMX).

The SMX series will begin on September 9, 2023 after the conclusion of the Pro Motocross season. Points will accumulate from both series to seed the SMX championship, which creates a record number of unified races.

“The SuperMotocross World Championship adds a new dimension to the annual Supercross and Pro Motocross seasons that will result in crowning the ultimate World Champion,” said Stephen C. Yaros, SVP Global Media and Supercross for Feld Motor Sports. “We are thrilled to be extending our relationship with NBC Sports so our fans can watch all the racing action streaming live on Peacock and the option to also watch select rounds on NBC, USA Network and CNBC.”

Complete 2023 coverage schedules for Supercross, Pro Motocross and the SuperMotocross World Championship on Peacock, NBC, USA Network and CNBC will be announced in the near future.