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MotoGP French GP to be shown live on ITV4

MotoGP’s fifth round of the 2021 season at Le Mans will be broadcast live on free-to-air television in the UK for the first time since 2013, Autosport has learned.

Joan Mir, Team Suzuki MotoGP

Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

MotoGP coverage in the UK has been behind a paywall since the 2014 season, when BT Sport took over exclusive broadcasting rights from the BBC.

The BBC broadcasted entire grand prix weekends across its red button and main channels from 2003 through to the end of 2013, with the series enjoying strong viewership during its tenure.

BT Sport will continue to broadcast MotoGP through to 2024, but the series’ exposure to a mainstream audience has declined over the years since its move to a subscription service.

ITV4 currently shows highlights of each grand prix weekend on the Monday after a race, but will bring the French Grand Prix to a free-to-air audience next weekend.

Though ITV and Dorna Sports are yet to make any comment, Autosport can confirm the news.

A TV listing for next weekend shows ITV4 will broadcast the Moto3, Moto2 and MotoGP races on Sunday 16th May from 9:45am UK time, with Dorna’s world feed coverage set to be used.

Maverick Vinales, Yamaha Factory Racing

Maverick Vinales, Yamaha Factory Racing

Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

The listing reads: “The Grand Prix of France. All the action from the Moto3, Moto2 and MotoGP races in the fifth round of the season at Le Mans.

“Jack Miller won the MotoGP race last time out at the Spanish Grand Prix in Jerez after Yamaha’s Fabio Quartararo suffered an arm-pump issue while leading the race and went on to finish in 13th position.

“Miller’s Ducati team-mate Francesco Bagnaia claimed second place and that was enough for him to overtake Quartararo at the top of the championship standings.

“With commentary from Steve Day and Matt Birt and pitlane reports by Simon Crafar.”

It’s unclear yet whether this will be a one-off or if ITV will continue to broadcast the remaining grand prix Sundays for the rest of the 2021 season.

ITV4’s motorsport roster boasts live coverage of the British Touring Car Championship as well as comprehensive coverage of the Isle of Man TT.

The news comes just weeks after it was revealed MotoGP is working with Amazon on its own version of Netflix’s hit Formula 1 documentary Drive to Survive.

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