NBC, NBCSN set for mega U.S. Grand Prix weekend of coverage from Austin

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NBC Sports Group will present comprehensive coverage of the Formula One™ United States Grand Prix from Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas, next FridaySunday, Oct. 31-Nov. 2, including practice, qualifying and culminating in NBC’s live presentation of the U.S. Grand Prix on Sunday, Nov. 2 at 3 p.m. ET.

For the first time ever, NBC Sports Group will present live qualifying on NBC on Saturday, Nov. 1, beginning at 1 p.m. ET, as well as complete coverage of all three practice sessions across NBC and NBCSN.

NBC Sports Group F1 broadcast team, led by lead play-by-play commentator Leigh Diffey, will be on-site at the Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas to host all practice, qualifying and United States Grand Prix coverage. Diffey will be joined by analyst and former racecar driver David Hobbs, analyst and former race mechanic for the Benetton F1 team Steve Matchett, F1 insider Will Buxton, and motorsports reporter Kelli Stavast.

NBC Sports Group’s United States Grand Prix coverage will feature numerous interviews and features with F1 drivers and team executives, as well as the premiere of Road To Mercedes, an in-depth look at the history of Mercedes-Benz in motorsport.

NBC Sports Live Extra – NBC Sports Group’s live streaming product for desktops, mobile devices, and tablets – will live stream all three practices, qualifying and the U.S. Grand Prix next weekend.

F1 UNITED STATES GRAND PRIX – SUNDAY, NOV. 2 ON NBC

Coverage of the U.S. Grand Prix begins with a 60-minute edition of F1 Countdown, NBC Sports Group’s live F1 pre-race show, on NBCSN at 2 p.m. ET for 30 minutes, and shifts over to NBC at 2:30 p.m. ET, leading into the U.S. Grand Prix at 3 p.m. ET.

F1 Countdown will feature sit-down interviews between Diffey and Ferrari team principal Marco Mattiacci, as well as motorsports Stavast with Red Bull driver Daniel Ricciardo, and a feature with Buxton and four-time F1 World Champion and Red Bull driver Sebastian Vettel, as they cruise through the streets of downtown Austin. In addition, pre-race coverage will give fans the most extreme perspective of Circuit of the Americas, as Stavast will skydive down into the track. NBC will also air an hour of post-race coverage immediately following the conclusion of the U.S. Grand Prix.

Last year, Sebastian Vettel won the U.S. Grand Prix en route to his 2013 F1 World Championship. Lewis Hamilton currently leads Mercedes teammate Nico Rosberg by 17 points in the standings with just three races remaining, and won the first U.S. Grand Prix that was held at Circuit of the Americas in 2012.

FOR FIRST TIME, NBC SPORTS GROUP PRESENTS LIVE QUALIFYING ON NBC, & LIVE COVERAGE OF ALL PRACTICES ON NBC OR NBCSN; ROAD TO MERCEDES PREMIERES THURSDAY, OCT. 30 AT 10 P.M. ET

For the first time, NBC Sports Group will present live qualifying on NBC, as well as all three practices across NBC and NBCSN. Coverage will begin with Practice 1 on Friday, Oct. 31 at 12:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN, followed by live coverage of Practice 2 at 3 p.m. ET on NBCSN. NBC will air Practice 3 followed by live qualifying on Saturday, Nov. 1 at 1 p.m. ET.

In addition, NBCSN will debut Road To Mercedes on Thursday, Oct. 10 at 10 p.m. ET as part of a full night of F1 programming on NBCSN. Hosted by Will Buxton, the 60-minute special examines the history and heritage of the Mercedes F1 team, which clinched the 2014 F1 constructors’ championship after the Russian Grand Prix in Sochi on Oct. 12, winning its first ever F1 constructors’ title.

Road To Mercedes will feature an in-depth look at the Silver Arrows, as well as the restoration of historic Mercedes cars at Kienle, as Buxton brings viewers on a trip from Mercedes F1 home in the United Kingdom to the company’s birthplace in Germany. The special will also air on Friday, Oct. 31 at 2 p.m. ET on NBCSN between Practices 1 and 2.

Following Practice 2, NBCSN’s edition of F1 Countdown on Friday at 4:30 p.m. ET will feature sit-down interviews between Steve Matchett and Gene Haas and Haas F1 Team Principal Gunther Steiner, discussing the prospects of an American F1 team in 2016.

NBCSN’s  Thursday night F1 programming block will also feature Road To Ferrari at 11 p.m. ET, as well as episodes of /DRIVE on NBC SportsOff The Grid, and “1”, the critically-acclaimed F1 documentary.

Following is NBC Sports Group’s comprehensive motorsports coverage surrounding the F1 U.S. Grand Prix next weekend:

Date Coverage Network Time (ET)
Thurs., October 30 Off The Grid (Encore) NBCSN 7 p.m.
“1” – F1 Documentary NBCSN 7:30 p.m.
Road To Mercedes (Premiere) NBCSN 10 p.m.
Road to Ferrari (Encore) NBCSN 11 p.m.
Fri., October 31 /DRIVE on NBCSN (Encore) NBCSN 12 a.m.
/DRIVE on NBCSN (Encore) NBCSN 12:30 a.m.
Road To Mercedes (Encore) NBCSN 1 a.m.
Off The Grid (Encore) NBCSN 12 p.m.
F1 United States Grand Prix – Practice 1 NBCSN 12:30 p.m.
Road To Mercedes (Encore) NBCSN 2 p.m.
F1 United States Grand Prix – Practice 2 NBCSN 3 p.m.
F1 Countdown NBCSN 4:30 p.m.
F1 United States Grand Prix – Practice 2 (Encore) NBCSN 10:30 p.m.
Sat., November 1 F1 United States Grand Prix – Practice 3 & Qualifying NBC 1 p.m.
Sun., November 2 F1 United States Grand Prix – Qualifying (Encore) NBCSN 12:30 a.m.
F1 Countdown NBCSN 2 p.m.
F1 Countdown NBC 2:30 p.m.
F1 United States Grand Prix NBC 3 p.m.
F1 Extra NBC 5 p.m. 

Eli Tomac, Ken Roczen’s two-man battle in Motocross provides surprises

Rich Shepherd, ProMotocross
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The 2019 Motocross season is one-third in the books and the title battle may have already come down to a two-man contest, while the pair of contenders might just be a little surprising in their own way.

Strictly by the numbers, no one can count Eli Tomac’s early season charge of first- and second-place finishes shocking, but threepeating in Motocross is such an incredibly difficult feat that no one would have been surprised to see him struggle out of the gates either. And in fact, that is precisely what happened.

Tomac came out of the gates slow in Round 1 and was seventh by the end of Lap 1 of Moto 1 – hardly the auspicious start he hoped for. He rebounded only as far as fourth and that ultimately cost him a chance to win the overall. Tomac won Moto 2 to claim second overall.

In Round 2, Tomac found his rhythm and won both Motos and grabbed the red plate. For the moment, he had the momentum with three consecutive Moto wins.

Tomac stumbled again in Round 3 – this time finishing only fifth in Moto 1 and earning only 16 points to dig a deep hole that eventually surrendered the red plate to Ken Roczen.

It was at Thunder Valley in Round 3 that a pattern emerged. Tomac would not make it easy on himself early in the day, but was more than capable of winning the second Motos to overcome his deficit.

That Roczen has won this season is also not a surprise in itself. Many believed his ascent to the top step of the podium was way overdue.

That he has run so well, however, was not entirely expected at the start of the season. Since injuring both arms in a pair of accidents, Roczen came tantalizingly close to snapping his winless streak a dozen times. He won heat races during the Supercross season and finished second at Anaheim I, Minneapolis, Dallas, and Seattle earlier this year.

He just couldn’t secure the overall win.

Roczen’s Moto 1 victory at Hangtown might have been the precursor to another disappointing weekend, but once Tomac got into the lead, Roczen zeroed in on the Kawasaki’s back tire and finished second in route to the overall victory.

Roczen lost the overall and the red plate to Tomac in Round 2 at Pala, but he stood on the podium in both Motos. Roczen podiumed twice again in Round 3 while taking that overall victory to regain the red plate in what has become a seesaw affair in the early part of the 2019 season.

Last week, Roczen looked more like Tomac with his desperate struggle in Moto 1 and sixth-place finish. That was the first (and so far only) time this season that he failed to stand on the podium.

Roczen’s Moto 2 win last week was just enough to put him second overall with barely enough points to force a tie at the top of the leaderboard with 176 points apiece.

Meanwhile, Tomac failed to win either Moto with a third in the first race and runner-up finish in the second.

The moral victory and advantage may shift to Roczen this week.

As they have swapped the victory in the first four rounds with Roczen winning the odd-numbered events, he sees this weekend’s Round 5 as an opportunity.

“I’m looking forward to next weekend’s race,” Roczen said in a team press release. “The track is sandy. It’s very similar—actually almost identical—to what I ride on a regular basis at home.”

Tomac and Roczen enter Round 5 with a 32-point advantage over two riders tied for third in the standings.

So far Zach Osborne and Jason Anderson have not been in the same league as the leaders, but it only takes one slip of the wheel to fall out of the points in in a race and allow these racers to close the gap.

Season passes can be purchased at NBC Sports Gold.

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