MotorSportsTalk’s Predictions: Australian GP

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With the 2015 Formula 1 season kicking off this Sunday in Melbourne, Australia, the time has come for MotorSportsTalk to revive our picks for each round of the 2015 season.

Last year, each MST writer was asked to pick a race winner, a surprise finish and who had the most to prove heading into the grand prix weekend.

This time around, we’re going to shake things up a bit, with Tony DiZinno and myself now also trying to predict the podium and pick one of main storylines that will come out of the race weekend.

With this being the first race of the year, our predictions are largely based on educated guesses and estimates from pre-season testing in Spain. Nevertheless, take a look at what we’ve predicted, and be sure to let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.

Luke Smith (@LukeSmithF1)

Race WinnerLewis Hamilton. It’s a pick between the two Mercedes drivers, such is the pace of the W06 Hybrid. Assuming that all is equal in the way of reliability, Hamilton should have the edge at one of his favorite circuits.

Surprising FinishRomain Grosjean. 2015 marks a new dawn for Lotus, with Mercedes now powering the British team. Grosjean should be able to make up for his miserable 2014 season this year, and what better way to start than with a good haul of points in Melbourne?

Most to ProveToro Rosso. The youngest driver line-up in the history of F1 is certainly exciting, but both Max Verstappen and Carlos Sainz Jr. have plenty to prove on their debuts. If either can score points, it would be a big statement to the naysayers up and down the paddock.

Additional Storyline to Watch: Honda’s return. Just how will the Honda engine hold up in its first grand prix? McLaren will be sweating on the progress that has been made since winter testing finished, and a top-ten finish would surely be an enormous achievement for the British team.

Predict the Podium

1. Lewis Hamilton Mercedes
2. Nico Rosberg Mercedes
3. Valtteri Bottas Williams

Tony DiZinno (@tonydizinno)

Race WinnerLewis Hamilton. The defending World Champion kicks off his title defense by bagging a win at a race that got away from him early last year due to unreliability.

Surprising FinishMax Verstappen. I’m going to say the 17-year-old lives up to the initial hype and produces one of the more “wow!” worthy debuts in years. Magnussen’s podium last year, Hamilton’s 2007 podium, Webber’s 2002 fifth place for Minardi, Villeneuve’s 1996 pole also come to mind as others. The Toro Rosso team banged out a ton of laps in testing and I’ll go bold, saying Verstappen makes it to Q3 on debut and then scores points. Seventh or eighth seems possible for this car.

Most to ProveMcLaren-Honda. After a troubled preseason, here’s hoping the two iconic brands can at least make it to the finish and sort out the reliability issues. Rare to say a finish would be a good result, but it would be… and points would be a bonus

Additional Storyline to WatchBattle for third. If reliability doesn’t strike, Mercedes’ preseason pace has left them as clear 1-2 favorites. So who comes third? Red Bull, Ferrari and Williams all could stake reasonable claims to it, each with three different power units.

Predict the Podium

1. Lewis Hamilton Mercedes
2. Nico Rosberg Mercedes
3. Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull

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Join us on NBCSN and Live Extra this weekend for comprehensive coverage of the Australian Grand Prix and the start of the new F1 season. Click here for full TV times and information.

Saturday’s Supercross Round 5 in Houston: How to watch, start times, streaming info

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The championship race has tightened up as the Monster Energy AMA Supercross Series heads to NRG Stadium in Houston, Texas, for Round 5 of the 2023 season.

With his 450 victory in the Anaheim Triple Crown, Chase Sexton has moved within four points of two-time and defending series champion Eli Tomac.

Jason Anderson is coming off a second place in Anaheim after crashing out of the first two rounds while racing in the top five. Ken Roczen earned his first podium last week since the 2022 season opener and the first for Suzuki since Chad Reed at Detroit in 2019.

Here are the pertinent details for watching Round 5 of the 2023 Supercross schedule at NRG Stadium in Houston on Saturday, Feb. 4, 2023:


(All times are ET)

BROADCAST/STREAMING SCHEDULE: TV coverage of Round 5 will begin Saturday at 8 p.m. ET streaming on Peacock and will re-air Monday, Feb. 6 at 1 a.m. on CNBC. The Race Day Live show (including qualifying) will begin on Peacock at 2:30 p.m. ET.

NBC Sports will have exclusive live coverage of races, qualifiers and heats for the record 31 events in SuperMotocross. The main events will be presented on Peacock, NBC, USA Network, CNBC, and NBC Sports digital platforms.

Peacock will become the home of the SuperMotocross World Championship series in 2023 with live coverage of all races, qualifying, and heats from January to October. There will be 23 races livestreamed exclusively on Peacock, including a SuperMotocross World Championship Playoff event. The platform also will provide on-demand replays of every race.

ENTRY LISTS: 450 division l 250 division

EVENT SCHEDULE (all times ET):

Here are the start times for Saturday, according to the Monster Energy Supercross schedule from the AMA:

2:05-2:15 p.m.: 250SX Group C Qualifying 1
2:20-2:30 p.m.: 250SX Group B Qualifying 1
2:35-2:45 p.m.: 250SX Group A Qualifying 1
2:50-3 p.m.: 450SX Group A Qualifying 1
3:05-3:15 p.m.: 450SX Group B Qualifying 1
3:20-3:30 p.m.: 450SX Group C Qualifying 1
4:20-4:30 p.m.: 250SX Group C Qualifying 2
4:35-4:45 p.m.: 250SX Group B Qualifying 2
4:50-5 p.m.: 250SX Group A Qualifying 2
5:05-5:15 p.m.: 450SX Group A Qualifying 2
5:20-5:30 p.m.: 450SX Group B Qualifying 2
5:35-5:45 p.m.: 450SX Group C Qualifying 2
8:06 p.m.: 250SX Heat 1
8:20 p.m.: 250SX Heat 2
8:34 p.m.: 450SX Heat 1
8:48 p.m.: 450SX Heat 2
9:22 p.m.: 250SX Last Chance Qualifier
9:33 p.m.: 450SX Last Chance Qualifier
9:53 p.m.: 250SX Main Event
10:27 p.m.: 450SX Main Event

TRACK LAYOUT:

Click here to view the track map

HOW TO WATCH SUPERMOTOCROSS WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP SEASON IN 2023Full NBC Sports, Peacock schedule

FINAL 2022 STANDINGS: 450 points standings | 250 East points standings250 West points standings


2023 SEASON RECAPS

ROUND 1: Eli Tomac opens title defense with victory

ROUND 2: Oakland postponed by storms

ROUND 3: Tomac holds off Cooper Webb again

ROUND 4: Chase Sexton wins Anaheim Triple Crown


NBC SPORTS’ COVERAGE OF SUPERMOTOCROSS WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP

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