FastLane

BMW M IN MOTOGP

20 February 2016

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MotoGP and BMW M Division: these two partners have formed an ideal combination for almost two decades. MotoGP is the pinnacle of motorcycle racing and features the best riders in the world on high-performance racing prototypes, in the development of which the manufacturers implement their latest technological ideas. High-performance and motorsport genes – attributes, with which BMW M Division is also synonymous. Since 1999, BMW M has been a permanent member of the international MotoGP family. The successful partnership with organiser Dorna Sports has grown consistently over the years, and is set to continue to run well into the future. In 2014, Dorna Sports and BMW M Division extended their cooperation up to and including 2020. Partnerships like this, which span decades, are extremely rare in top-class international sport.

At the heart of the commitment is the provision of the Safety Car fleet. BMW M implements the latest technology in order to guarantee the safety of the MotoGP riders, whatever the conditions. The Safety Cars are high-performance BMW M cars, whose outstanding driving properties make them the perfect foil to any challenges out on the racetrack. The latest example is the BMW M2 MotoGP Safety Car, which makes its debut this season. The Safety Cars are specially modified at the BMW M factory for their use as lead cars on the motorcycle racing scene. The same goes for all the other vehicles in the fleet.

BMW M Division’s commitment to MotoGP also includes numerous other activities. Since 2003, the BMW M Award has been presented at the end of the season to the best MotoGP qualifier. The BMW M MotoGP Experience allows visitors to experience the fascinating world of MotoGP up close and personal. BMW M MotoGP experts offer exclusive, first-hand insights. On selected Grand Prix weekends, BMW M Division presents its latest models and products with onsite campaigns.

BMW M OFFICIAL CARS

Outstanding in any role

The high-performance BMW M Safety Car fleet for MotoGP comprises other high performance cars and BMW S 1000 RR Safety Bikes, as well as the actual BMW M Safety Cars themselves. Each has its own role, but all ensure that race events run safely and smoothly.

The Safety Cars and Safety Bikes are already in action while the racing bikes are still in the garage: On Thursday and the morning of each day of the event, they complete timing laps, which are used to check whether the timing and data systems are working correctly. This is followed by a slow lap by the Safety Cars, Medical Cars and the Safety Officer Car, during which the individual steward posts are checked.

During all the sessions and races, the Safety Car is ready to rapidly take the Medical Director to the scene of any crash. As well as the driver, the Medical Cars also carry an FIM Intervention Doctor and a nurse. The cars are equipped with all the necessary medical equipment to stabilise a patient in a critical condition: defibrillator, oxygen, ventilator, drugs, etc. One Medical Car is ready to go at the exit from the pit lane, the other is positioned on the other side of the circuit, about halfway round the lap. This guarantees that a crashed rider can be reached as quickly as possible, no matter where the crash took place.

In the case of a red flag, whether for a crash, oil leak or track conditions, the FIM Safety Officer and FIM Safety Advisor are taken to the relevant point on the track in the Safety Officer’s car, in order to check out the situation.

All the cars also have their own clearly-defined roles during the races themselves. This begins during preparations for the start of the individual races. About half an hour before the start, the BMW M2 MotoGP Safety Car, a Medical Car and the Safety Bikes take their place on the grid, in front of the motorcycles. Ten minutes before the start, the two Safety Bikes complete one lap before heading into the pit lane.

The Medical Car sets off nine minutes before the start. However, it initially remains trackside after the warm-up lap. A marshal uses a yellow flag to indicate the position of the car. The Safety Car does a lap five minutes before the start, during which it checks that the circuit is in perfect condition. Back on the start/finish straight, the Safety Car now takes its place at the back of the racing bikes.

During the warm-up lap, the Safety Car follows the field round the track, before pulling into the pit lane and taking up its position there, in order to be ready for action during the race. After the warm-up lap, the Medical Car also sets off again. It drives to the grid, where it stops behind the last bike. During the opening lap, the Medical Car follows the field round, in order to be on-site immediately should there be a serious crash. After the first lap, the Medical Car also takes up its position at the exit from the pit lane.