Friday, March 18, 2011 06:56
Sometimes it seems as if there’s a natural antagonism between those who favor four wheels and those who get along just fine with two. But car drivers and motorcyclists have more in common than you’d think, including a appreciation for high-performance machinery that transcends the wheel count. Case in point, the new BMW safety car for MotoGP, the Formula 1 of motorcycle racing.
BMW has provided the official MotoGP safety car since 1999, and recently extended the agreement through 2016. The latest safety car is based on the 2011 BMW 1 Series M Coupe, and will hit the track for the first time at this weekend’s Grand Prix of Qatar. It’ll be decked out in BMW Motorsport’s signature tri-color paint scheme, with wheels and exhaust tips finished in black. A rear wing, a chin spoiler, and an Akrapovic exhaust will give the car the added oomph it needs to keep from getting run over by 200-mph MotoGP bikes.
It’s an odd fact that a lot of top-flight motorcycle racers don’t ride on the street, preferring to get around in fast cars instead of on fast bikes. So it’s appropriate that one MotoGP rider will take home a new BMW at the end of the year. The rider who qualifies the fastest at the most events during the 2011 season will be awarded a new BMW 1 Series M Coupe. Last year, eventual 2010 World Champion Jorge Lorenzo qualified himself right into the driver’s seat of an M3 Sedan, and you can bet he’d like to park another BMW alongside it at the end of this season.