INDYCAR: Sebastien Bourdais is quickest in first of 2 practices today at Mid-Ohio

IndyCar
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Sebastien Bourdais typically excels at road courses and Friday morning’s first of two IndyCar practice sessions at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course was a perfect example of that.

Bourdais had a best lap of 1:05.5784 at 123.955 mph to pace the 24 drivers in the field for Sunday’s Honda Indy 200 at the 2.25-mile twisting road course in north-central Ohio.

“We got a baseline,” Bourdais told the IndyCar Radio Network. “We didn’t test here because we only have one test day left at Gateway. We pretty much through the kitchen sink at it and the guys did a real good job. The car is real close, I think.”

Josef Newgarden was second-quickest (1:05.9167 at 123.319 mph), followed by series points leader Scott Dixon (1:06.2157 at 122.762 mph), Takuma Sato (1:06.2424 at 122.713) and Spencer Pigot (1:06.2456).

Of note during the session:

* Takuma Sato went off the track briefly with about 30 minutes left in the session, but was able to recover and continue on without incurring any damage.

* Matheus Leist slid off the track entering Turn 5 in the hairpin turn, bringing out a brief red flag practice stoppage. Leist did not hit anything and was able to get his car back on-track.

* Robert Wickens pulled his car off the track after a puff of smoke came out of the rear of his No. 6 Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Honda, bringing out a brief flag.

* With just over three minutes to go in the session, Zach Veach looped his car, didn’t hit anything and was able to continue on.

* The session ended in a dicey situation. Will Power spun in Turn 9, trying to avoid slow-moving teammate Simon Pagenaud. Former Mid-Ohio winner (2013) Charlie Kimball then ran into the rear of Tony Kanaan, leaving Kimball’s car with front end damage.

“I was coming with a big head of steam on hot tires, and by the time I turned in and saw the yellow, the 14 was backing up because he had a little clearer vision,” Kimball said. “I feel bad about getting into the 14. Hopefully, it didn’t do too much damage to him and us.”

Added Power, “It was pretty hectic. I was worried that I spun at the crest of hill and nobody could see you. The car isn’t that bad. We’re creeping up on it, understanding what we need.”

There will be one more practice session today at 2:30 p.m. ET, followed by a session Saturday morning before qualifying takes place early in the afternoon to set the field for Sunday’s race.

Also of note:

* Conor Daly is back for a second straight race in the No. 88 for Harding Racing. Daly replaced Gabby Chaves at Toronto, finished 13th.

* Pietro Fittipaldi returned to action for Dale Coyne Racing after suffering a broken leg nearly three months ago.

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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.