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Grand Prix motorcycle racing enters a new era in 2014 as the biggest names in the sport line-up on the grid for the 56th MotoGP World Championship.

From this season, BT Sport will cover the entire series exclusively live in the UK, taking over from the BBC and British Eurosport, and will screen every on-track session live throughout the season, plus offer fans new innovations and behind-the-scenes access.

Free-to-air audiences can also continue to enjoy the best moments from the championship with ITV4′s one-hour highlights show being broadcast a day after the race.

It looks set to be another exciting year for the sport as Marc Marquez aims to defend the title he won last year at the record breaking age of 20.

He again faces strong competition for his crown from Honda team-mate Dani Pedrosa and Yamaha rivals Jorge Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi.

Marquez heads into the 2014 campaign somewhat on the back foot after breaking his leg in a training accident six weeks before the first race.

This may give his Repsol Honda Team team-mate Pedrosa the chance to take advantage in the early part of the season and the Spaniard will certainly be hoping for a first race win in Qatar.

It promises to be a bumper season for British riders with four lining up on the grid this year with Cal Crutchlow and Bradley Smith aiming to contest for regular podium places in their Ducati and Tech3 Yamaha respectively.

Scott Redding makes his MotoGP debut for the Honda Gresini team after an impressive season in Moto2 last year, while Michael Laverty lines up for Paul Bird Motorsport.

Ducati’s new signing Crutchlow, who is Great Britain’s best bet to claim the country’s first race victory grand prix motorcycling since the days of the late Barry Sheene, while Smith will be challenged this year in the Tech3 team by current Moto2 world champion Pol Espargaro.

Ducati generated plenty of headlines over the winter break with its much-publicised switch to ‘Open’ bikes.

New regulations for MotoGP have seen some controversy during winter testing but in theory the new ‘Open Class’ rules should bring the field closer and provide better racing.

For 2014, all bikes in the field are obliged to run the specification ECU hardware as supplied by series organisers Dorna and suppliers Magneti Marelli.

Furthermore, teams must select either ‘Factory Option’ or ‘Open’ as their bike specification.

Factory Option machines drop from 21 litres of fuel in 2013 to 20 this year, whereas those running Open bikes are obliged to use the ECU software as well as the hardware.

In-turn, Open runners will enjoy privileges such as a maximum of 24 litres of fuel across a race distance, 12 engines per season, as opposed to five for factories.

Open teams will also not be subject to the new engine freeze regulations, allowing work on the machines during the season, and they can also enjoy unlimited in-season testing. 

This year’s MotoGP campaign begins under the spectacular lights at the Losail International Circuit at Doha, the capital of Qatar, with 5.4km circuit featuring a good mix of medium and high-speed corners making it popular for riders and fans alike.

In 2008, Qatar celebrated the first night time Grand Prix in history following the construction of permanent outdoor lighting.

The switch to night time racing was a success and has continued to be so, with the Qatar event now established as one of the most spectacular on the MotoGP calendar.

Following Qatar, a further 17 races will be held around the world as the 2014 MotoGP World Championship sets off on its global adventure.

For more information about MotoGP, including race calendar, rider profiles and the latest news from the paddock, visit the official website.

Scroll down for a full rundown of when and where to watch MotoGP on UK television this season.

Read SOTB’s viewing guide to the 2014 MotoGP season below:

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BT Sport is ready to start its debut season of MotoGP coverage as it prepares to offer fans the most extensive output of the sport ever seen on UK television.

The channel has a five-year deal for exclusive rights to televise motorcycle racing’s premier championship, starting with the opening race of the 2014 season in Qatar on March 20-23.

BT Sport takes over the UK broadcast rights from the BBC this season, a move which has divided opinion among fans, but the new channel promises to bring more extensive coverage of MotoGP than ever before.

Live race weekend coverage on BT Sport will usually start on Fridays and will include all practice sessions and races throughout the weekend – including MotoGP, Moto2 and Moto3 – with around five hours of coverage each day.

TV personality Melanie Sykes will present BT Sport’s live coverage from the circuit with former British and World Superbike champions Neil Hodgson and James Toseland offering expert analysis.

In a popular move for motorcycling fans, BT Sport reunites Julian Ryder and Keith Huewen in the commentary box for every race weekend.

Ryder, previously Eurosport’s MotoGP commentator of more than 14 years, will be joined by former British motorcycling champion Huewen, who has been the face and voice of Sky Sports’ motorsports coverage over the past two decades.

They will be assisted in the commentary box by Motorcycle News chief grand prix correspondent Matt Birt, while experienced MotoGP broadcaster Gavin Emmett will be BT Sport’s roving reporter in the pit lane.

BT Sport’s comprehensive coverage of MotoGP launches on March 18 with a special preview show, featuring interviews with all the top riders and action from the key official pre-season tests. 

For each of the 18 race meetings in 2014, BT Sport will show all the free practice and qualifying sessions live on Fridays and Saturdays, full coverage of the Moto2 and Moto2 races on Sundays, plus the main event itself – the elite MotoGP race.

Every race will be hosted on-site at each event by Sykes with additional studio coverage coming from BT Sport’s state of the art facilities at the Olympic Park in Stratford, East London.

In addition to the live action, a new hour-long programme - MotoGP Tonight - will be broadcast at 8.00pm on Tuesdays after every MotoGP weekend.

This will be presented by BT Sport’s Craig Doyle and former Olympian and European and Commonwealth games 400 metres champion and keen biker Iwan Thomas.

The pair will be joined by an array of guests from the motorcycling world, plus round up all the news and gossip from the paddock.

Award winning production company North One Television, who were behind ITV’s Formula 1 coverage from 1997 to 2008, will be in charge of BT Sport’s comprehensive MotoGP coverage.

Simon Green, head of BT Sport, said: “It’s really exciting to be launching such a thrilling new sport on BT Sport, with a tremendous new team and what we believe will be a fresh approach to MotoGP and some fantastic new shows.

“MotoGP is the top, two-wheeled motorsport. It’s massive in the UK and we’re heading into it at full throttle and following every second of the action.

“We’re sure we’ll appeal to committed fans, but we also think we will win over and welcome new fans to the sport.”

BT Sport has also created an exciting second screen MotoGP experience as part of the BT Sport app (see below).

Users will be able to watch the main coverage and choose from seven other camera views, including four fitted to bikes hitting more than 200mph, a helicopter view and live timing and tracking screens.

Full races and highlights including interviews and features will also be available to watch on the app.

Don’t have BT Sport? Find out how to get it by clicking here

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Free-to-air coverage of MotoGP will continue in 2014 thanks to ITV Sport’s hour-long highlights of every race.

All 18 races from the premier class will be covered with an hour-long programme on ITV4 and ITV4 HD which will be broadcast in a primetime slot on the Monday following each event.

Coverage will feature extended highlights of the MotoGP race, as well as the best of the action from the supporting Moto2 and Moto3 races.

ITV4′s highlights programme will use BT Sport’s live commentary feed provided by Keith Huewen and Julian Ryder, while reporter Gavin Emmett provides the voice-over.

It was thought that there would be no terrestrial outlet for the series beyond 2013, but a late deal has been struck between MotoGP organisers Dorna and ITV to ensure the sport continues to reach a mainstream free-to-air TV audience.

It will give free-to-air viewers the chance to continue following the fortunes of the sport’s biggest stars such as reigning world champion Marc Marquez, Jorge Lorenzo, the legendary Valentino Rossi and British riders Cal Crutchlow, Bradley Smith, Scott Redding and Michael Laverty.

It is the first time that ITV has covered MotoGP racing and Dorna’s new deal with the channel guarantees free-to-air coverage of every MotoGP race in 2014, including the British Grand Prix at Silverstone in August.

Each of ITV’s MotoGP highlights programme will be available to watch via catch-up service ITV Player.

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ROUND 1: QATAR MOTOGP

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Tuesday 18th March
2014 Season Preview
8.00pm-9.00pm  BT Sport 2    Replay on BT Sport 1 at 9.30pm
 
Thursday 20th March
Practice Sessions
LIVE: 3.00pm-7.45pm  BT Sport 2
 
Friday 21st March
Practice Sessions
LIVE: 2.50pm-7.00pm  BT Sport 2
 
Saturday 22nd March
Qualifying Sessions
LIVE: 2.30pm-7.00pm  BT Sport 2
 
Sunday 23rd March
QATAR GRAND PRIX: Race Day
Start Times - Moto3: 16:00  /  Moto2: 17:20  /  MotoGP: 19:00
LIVE: 3.00pm-8.30pm  BT Sport 2
 
Monday 24th March
MotoGP Highlights: Qatar
8.00pm-9.00pm  ITV4
 
Tuesday 25th March
MotoGP Tonight
8.00pm-9.00pm  BT Sport 2
 

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 2014 MOTOGP SEASON – WHEN & WHERE TO WATCH
 
 Race start times stated
 
 MARCH 20-23
 
 QATAR GRAND PRIX
 Round 1 – Losail
 
 
19:00
 
 
 APRIL 11-13
 
 AMERICAS GRAND PRIX
 Round 3 – Austin
 
 
20:00
 
 
 APRIL 25-27
 
 ARGENTINE GRAND PRIX
 Round 3 - Termas de Río Hondo
 
 
18:00
 
 
 MAY 2-4
 
 SPANISH GRAND PRIX
 Round 4 – Jerez
 
 
13:00
 
 
 MAY 16-18
 
 FRENCH GRAND PRIX
 Round 5 – Le Mans
 
 
13:00
 
 
 MAY 30 – JUNE 1
 
 ITALIAN GRAND PRIX
 Round 6 – Mugello
 
 
13:00
 
 
 JUNE 13-15
 
 CATALAN GRAND PRIX
 Round 7 – Barcelona
 
 
13:00
 
 
 JUNE 26-28
 
 DUTCH GRAND PRIX
 Round 8 – Mugello
 
 
13:00
 
 
 JULY 11-13
 
 GERMAN GRAND PRIX
 Round 9 – Sachsenring
 
 
13:00
 
 
 AUGUST 8-10
 
 INDIANAPOLIS GRAND PRIX
 Round 10 – Mugello
 
 
19:00
 
 
 AUGUST 15-17
 
 CZECH REPUBLIC GRAND PRIX
 Round 11 – Brno
 
 
13:00
 
 
 AUGUST 29-31
 
 BRITISH GRAND PRIX
 Round 12 – Silverstone
 
 
14:30
 
 
 SEPTEMBER 12-14
 
 SAN MARINO GRAND PRIX
 Round 13 – Misano
 
 
13:00
 
 
 SEPTEMBER 26-28
 
 ARAGON GRAND PRIX
 Round 14 – Aragon
 
 
13:00
 
 
 OCTOBER 10-12
 
 JAPANESE GRAND PRIX
 Round 15 – Motegi
 
 
06:00
 
 
 OCTOBER 17-19
 
 AUSTRALIAN GRAND PRIX
 Round 16 – Phillip Island
 
 
06:00
 
 
 OCTOBER 24-26
 
 MALAYSIAN GRAND PRIX
 Round 17 – Sepang
 
 
08:00
 
 
 NOVEMBER 7-9
 
 VALENCIA GRAND PRIX
 Round 18 – Valencia
 
 
13:00
 
 
 
  

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