Three-time Dakar Rally winner Hubert Auriol dies at 68

Dakar Hubert Auriol dies
FREDERICK FLORIN/AFP via Getty Images
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PARIS — Hubert Auriol, the first competitor to win the Dakar Rally on a motorbike and in a car, has died. He was 68.

The Dakar Rally announced that Auriol died Sunday. It did not specify a cause but the Frenchman had battled heart disease for many years.

The charismatic Auriol won the race, which was then called the Paris-Dakar Rally, on a motorbike in 1981 and ’83 and then in a car in 1992.

Auriol later became director of the race, a position he held for nearly a decade.

In recent years, he had worked as a Paris-based auto racing consultant.

“He inspired generations of riders and drivers and has been an integral part of the rally throughout its history,” the Dakar Rally said Sunday at the halfway mark of the 2021 race in Saudi Arabia.

“He was a real character,” said Stepane Peterhansel, who currently leads this year’s Dakar. “It was probably him and Cyril Neveu who made me want to do the Dakar. Hubert was class. I believe the world of rally-raid will cry for a long time. Many youngsters didn’t know him but I was really part of those who discovered the Dakar thanks to him.”

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.