Sainz secures overlooked, welcome career-best P6 at home GP

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For Carlos Sainz Jr., sixth place in Sunday’s Spanish Grand Prix marked a career-best in his 24th Grand Prix start in one of the two Scuderia Toro Rosso Ferraris.

The 21-year-old from Madrid had been perhaps overlooked in recent weeks within the Red Bull empire – Daniel Ricciardo had led Red Bull’s charge in the opening races, while the recent Daniil Kvyat drama and his subsequent switch with Max Verstappen between Red Bull and Toro Rosso had dominated headlines in the run up to the Spanish Grand Prix.

Then of course, Verstappen decided to go off and make F1 history as the youngest winner ever on Sunday, in his first start for Red Bull.

But Sainz, who qualified eighth, made out like a bandit on Sunday when he made it up to third at the end of the first lap behind Red Bull teammates Ricciardo and Verstappen and ahead of the Scuderia Ferrari pair of Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen, following the first-lap Mercedes coming together of Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton.

Sainz fell back slightly from there but still secured sixth place, which beat his prior best result of seventh at Circuit of the Americas last year by one spot.

“You know it was a great weekend for me,” Sainz told NBCSN’s Will Buxton post-race. “We found a really good balance. Finally we did a very good race. It was just a matter of time everything would come together for me.”

Sainz hailed his start as one of the best of his career.

“The start was an amazing feeling to be in podium position on merit,” he said. “One of the best starts of my life. First laps were nice. The Ferraris, I had to let them go, otherwise it would have been compromised my race.”

However, post-race, it was revealed Sainz would be under investigation by the stewards for possible leaving of the pit lane with the red light on. But following the review, there was no further action taken.

Sainz, who along with Verstappen had had a bit of a disagreement earlier this year in Melbourne, was happy for his former teammate.

“I’m honestly very happy for him and for the Red Bull family,” he said. “It’s great they keep bringing talent into Formula 1.

“From my side, I look forward to fighting for victories down the road with him, like we were for P8s and Q3 in Toro Rosso.”

Interestingly Sainz didn’t do himself any harm against Kyvat this weekend either in the Russian’s return to the team.

Kvyat failed to make it out of Q2 and lined up 13th, and did make it into the points in 10th place.

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


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