IndyCar releases 2017 TV times, networks, with 12 races on NBCSN

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The Verizon IndyCar Series will continue with the same channels and networks as it did in 2016, with NBCSN carrying 12 of the 17 races, including the last nine races in a row from Texas through the season finale at Sonoma.

ABC will again carry five races, the 101st Indianapolis 500 along with the IndyCar Grand Prix in Indianapolis, the St. Petersburg season opener and the Detroit doubleheader along with both days of qualifying for the Indianapolis 500.

In addition to NBCSN’s 12 races, NBCSN will present coverage of Carb Day from the Indy 500 on Friday, May 26 starting at 11 a.m. ET.

INDYCAR has hailed a 55 percent growth in its combined increase in viewership across both networks since 2013.

Once the second half of the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series schedule shifts to NBC and NBCSN from July, there will be several weekends where all three of NBC’s flagship motorsports series – NASCAR, IndyCar and Formula 1 – will be on on the same weekend.

Those Sundays are:

  • July 9: F1-Austria, IndyCar-Iowa, NASCAR-Kentucky (Saturday night)
  • July 16: F1-Britain, IndyCar-Toronto, NASCAR-New Hampshire
  • July 30: F1-Hungary, IndyCar-Mid-Ohio, NASCAR-Pocono
  • Sept. 3: F1-Italy, IndyCar-Watkins Glen, NASCAR-Darlington
  • Sept. 17-F1, Singapore, IndyCar-Sonoma, NASCAR-Chicagoland

“As the U.S. television home of motorsports, we’re proud to showcase the thrilling speed and exciting racing that the Verizon IndyCar Series delivers each year,” Jon Miller, President, Programming, NBC Sports & NBCSN said in a release. “Our INDYCAR coverage in 2016 reached more fans than ever before, and we look forward to building off of that success as we crown yet another INDYCAR champion on NBCSN in 2017.”

NBC Sports Group is coming off a record-setting year of IndyCar coverage in 2016, which reached more than 6.5 million total viewers, the highest season-total since acquiring IndyCar rights in 2009. Last season also delivered NBC Sports Group’s most-watched IndyCar race ever, when NBCSN and CNBC’s simulcast of the Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio averaged 929,000 viewers on July 31. Click here for more information on NBC Sports Group’s record-setting IndyCar viewership in 2016.

Additional programming – practice and qualifying sessions – will be announced at a later date.

Owing to the head-to-head air times between NASCAR and IndyCar on July 16 and 30, the Toronto and Mid-Ohio races will air LIVE on CNBC, with same day encore presentations on NBCSN. Those CNBC windows are both at 3 p.m. ET.

2017indytvtimes

Jack Miller wins the MotoGP Japanese Grand Prix as Fabio Quartararo stops his downward points’ slide

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Jack Miller ran away with the MotoGP Japanese Grand Prix at Motegi as Fabio Quartararo stopped his downward slide in the championship when a last-lap accident from his closest rival in the standings caused Francesco Bagnaia to score zero points.

Starting seventh, Miller quickly made his way forward. He was second at the end of two laps. One lap later, he grabbed the lead from Jorge Martin. Once in the lead, Miller posted three consecutive fastest laps and was never seriously challenged. It was Australian native Miller’s first race win of the season and his sixth podium finish.

The proximity to his home turf was not lost.

“I can ride a motorcycle sometimes,” Miller said in NBC Sports’ post-race coverage. “I felt amazing all weekend since I rolled out on the first practice. It feels so awesome to be racing on this side of the world.

“What an amazing day. It’s awesome; we have the home Grand Prix coming up shortly. Wedding coming up in a couple of weeks. I’m over the moon; can’t thank everyone enough.”

Miller beat Brad Binder to the line by 3.4 seconds with third-place Jorge Martin finishing about one second behind.

But the center of the storm was located just inside the top 10 as both Quartararo and Bagnaia started deep in the field.

Quartararo was on the outside of row three in ninth with Bagnaia one row behind in 12th. Neither rider moved up significantly, but the championship continued to be of primary importance as Bagnaia put in a patented late-race charge to settle onto Quartararo’s back tire, which would have allowed the championship leader to gain only a single point.

On the final lap, Bagnaia charged just a little too hard and crashed under heavy braking, throwing away the seven points he would have earned for a ninth-place finish.

The day was even more dramatic for the rider who entered the MotoGP Japanese Grand Prix third in the standings. On the sighting lap, Aleix Espargaro had an alarm sound, so he peeled off into the pits, dropped his primary bike and jumped aboard the backup. Starting from pit lane, he trailed the field and was never able to climb into the points. An undisclosed electronic problem was the culprit.

For Quartararo, gaining eight points on the competition was more than a moral victory. This was a track on which he expected to run moderately, and he did, but the problems for his rivals gives him renewed focus with four rounds remaining.

Next week, the series heads to Thailand and then Miller’s home track of Phillip Island in Australia. They will close out the Pacific Rim portion of the schedule before heading to Spain for the finale in early November.

It would appear team orders are not in play among the Ducati riders. Last week’s winner Enea Bastianini made an aggressive early move on Bagnaia for position before the championship contender wrestled the spot back.

In his second race back following arm surgery, Marc Marquez won the pole. His last pole was more than 1,000 days ago on this same track in 2019, the last time the series competed at Motegi. Marquez slipped to fifth in the middle stages of the race, before regaining a position to finish just off the podium.

In Moto2 competition, Ai Ogura beat Augusto Fernandez to close the gap in that championship to two points. Fernandez holds the scant lead. Alonso Lopez rounded out the podium.

Both American riders, Cameron Beaubier and Joe Roberts finished just outside the top 10 in 11th and 12th respectively.