MotoGP Grand Prix Of France 2017: Race Schedule, Live Stream And Top Riders

TOPSHOT - Italy's Valentino Rossi celebrates after winning the Assen Motorcycling Grand Prix at the TT circuit in Assen on June 25, 2017.  / AFP PHOTO / ANP / Vincent Jannink / Netherlands OUT        (Photo credit should read VINCENT JANNINK/AFP/Getty Images)VINCENT JANNINK/Getty Images

The 2017 MotoGP season is turning into one of the most fascinating campaigns for years, making this weekend's Grand Prix of Germany crucial for those involved in the title shakeup.

A thrilling win for Valentino Rossi at the Netherlands Grand Prix last time out means that just 11 points separate the top four in the battle for the world championship. The Yamaha man is on 108 points in third, with Andrea Dovizioso leading the way on 115 points; Maverick Vinales has 111 in second, while defending champion Marc Marquez is fourth with a haul of 104.

The Sachsenring in Saxony will host the next chapter of this campaign—a venue where Marquez picked up a big win on his way to glory in 2016, his fourth in a row in Germany.

Read on for the key viewing details for the race weekend and a closer look at some of the riders in the mix for the world title as we reach the halfway point of the season.

         

Schedule (Times BST)

Free Practice 1Friday, June 30, 8:55 a.m. - 9:40 a.m.

Free Practice 2Friday, June 30, 1:05 p.m. - 1:50 p.m.

Free Practice 3Saturday, July 1, 8:55 a.m. - 9:40 a.m.

Free Practice 4Saturday, July 1, 12:30 p.m. - 1 p.m.

Qualifying 1Saturday, July 1, 1:10 p.m. - 1:25 p.m.

Qualifying 2Saturday, July 1, 1:35 p.m. - 1:50 p.m.

RaceSunday, July 2, 1 p.m.

         

TV Info: BT Sport (UK), beIN Sports (U.S.)

Live Stream: BT Sport website (UK), beIN Sports CONNECT (U.S.)

         

Four-Way Fight for World Title

ASSEN, NETHERLANDS - JUNE 25:  Valentino Rossi of Italy and Movistar Yamaha MotoGP  leads the field during the MotoGP Race during the MotoGP Netherlands - Race on June 25, 2017 in Assen, Netherlands.  (Photo by Mirco Lazzari gp/Getty Images)Mirco Lazzari gp/Getty Images

Having not stood on the top step of the podium for more than a year, there was relief on the face of Rossi when he finally held off Danilo Petrucci at Assen.

The two Italians were involved in a gripping tussle at the end of a brilliant race on Sunday, although the experience of the nine-time world champion eventually saw him take the win by a meagre 0.063-second margin.

The Eurosport UK Twitter account reminded everyone of how long Rossi has been at the top:

Eurosport UK @Eurosport_UK

The ageless Valentino Rossi! @ValeYellow46 #DutchGP https://t.co/etNsG9P3Su

2017-6-25 12:09:40

The 38-year-old's win also gave him a real chance of winning another world title, as relayed by the MotoGP Twitter account:

MotoGP™🇩🇪🏁 @MotoGP

"The Championship is unbelievable!" - #VR46 https://t.co/VlRNl20M1T

2017-6-25 18:01:47

Going into this weekend's race, it's Dovizioso who leads the way in the standings, as he came home in fifth place at Assen.

MONTMELO, SPAIN - JUNE 11:  Andrea Dovizioso of Italy and Ducati Team celebrates the victory on the podium at the end of the MotoGP race during the MotoGp of Catalunya - Race  at Circuit de Catalunya on June 11, 2017 in Montmelo, Spain.  (Photo by Mirco LMirco Lazzari gp/Getty Images

The Ducati man is having the season of his life after back-to-back wins leading into the Netherlands Grand Prix and put together a decent performance last weekend. Eventually, getting over the line in a points position was enough for him to move to the summit of the standings.

That was after Vinales crashed out, continuing his inconsistent form. Having joined Yamaha, the young Spaniard was sensational early in the season, winning the first two races in style. He also won the French Grand Prix but has struggled in his last two races.

As we can see, he had a pretty heavy fall in the Assen race:

MotoGP™🇩🇪🏁 @MotoGP

#DutchGP disaster for Viñales! 🙈 Watch how #MV25 lost the #MotoGP Championship lead in Assen! 🎥 https://t.co/PpadJZbxjH https://t.co/0Va0gbbTMN

2017-6-25 15:45:00

The man who won in Germany 12 months ago, Marquez, will be hoping to kick-start his season with victory here, having only won one of the opening eight races. A determined third spot in the Netherlands should give him confidence coming into this weekend.

Marquez has a superb record in Germany.Marquez has a superb record in Germany.Mirco Lazzari gp/Getty Images

However, the unpredictable nature of this season makes it tough to write off any man in the field. As noted by MotoGP journalist Neil Morrison, at the moment it feels as though anyone can win in this remarkable campaign:

Neil Morrison @NeilMorrison87

5 victors in 8 MotoGP races. That's greater variety than '15/'14/'13 (4 diff winners in each yr), '12 (3), '11 & '10 (4) in their entirety.

2017-6-25 16:45:32

Marquez has been imperious at this venue in the past. Not only has the Honda world champion won his last four MotoGP races here, he also won twice in Germany as a Moto2 rider.

If there was a race in which the Spaniard's Sachsenring streak was to come to an end, this chaotic 2017 campaign may well be the perfect stage for it. However, after a strong showing in the Netherlands and many fond memories around this circuit in the bank, the world champion will stamp his authority on the race.

          

Prediction: 1. Marquez, 2. Vinales, 3. Rossi


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