Rosberg leads FP1 in China as tire failures interrupt session

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Nico Rosberg led the way for Mercedes in an interrupted first practice for the Chinese Grand Prix after three separate left-rear tire failures occurred during Friday morning’s session.

Rosberg and Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton surged to another one-two finish in FP1, but the biggest talking point at the end of practice were the three tire failures that sparked two red flag periods.

Felipe Massa suffered a failure on his left-rear less than 20 minutes into the session, with the tire coming loose from the rim and leaving debris strewn across the track, prompting a red flag.

Massa was able to return to the pits and get back out after Williams had fixed his car, only to suffer a puncture on his left-rear once again on his outlap.

Minutes later, Kevin Magnussen suffered a sizeable failure on his left rear tire, breaking the rear suspension on his Renault and once again causing the session to be red flagged.

Questions were immediately asked of Formula 1 tire supplier Pirelli, but McLaren reported that it believed Massa’s issues to be caused by bodywork rubbing the car while Magnussen’s was the result of debris on track.

A lengthy delay followed as the track was swept and cleared of debris before the session resumed with eight minutes remaining, prompting a flurry of quick lap times.

Hamilton had sat quickest for much of the session, but a fast lap from Rosberg with four minutes remaining saw him rise to P1 at the checkered flag.

Hamilton was forced to settle for P2 in the second Mercedes, 0.146 seconds behind, while Sebastian Vettel followed in third place for Ferrari.

Daniel Ricciardo finished fourth for Red Bull ahead of teammate Daniil Kvyat in P6, the pair split by Kimi Raikkonen in the second Ferrari.

Carlos Sainz Jr. led Toro Rosso’s charge in seven ahead of Jenson Button and Nico Hulkenberg, while teammate Max Verstappen rounded out the top 10.

Second practice in China is live on NBCSN and Live Extra from 2am ET on Friday.

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.