This year yet again, the MotoGP pilots’ battle for pole position is not simply about obtaining the best starting position in the subsequent motorcycle road racing championship, but also about winning the BMW M award. Next weekend (17 – 19 July 2009) the Sachsenring will again be the setting for the spectacular contest for the fastest lap time. During the qualifying prior to the ninth of a total of 17 rounds in the current racing series, the riders can collect further points in the seasonal assessment for the BMW M award. At the end of the season, the best qualifier amongst the MotoGP pilots will be rewarded with a BMW M3 saloon car.
This year, the MotoGP race at the Sachsenring is the only round in this motorcycle road racing championship to be held in Germany. The organizers are expecting more than 200,000 motor sport fans to turn up during the racing weekend at the Grand Prix track which underwent extensive modernisation as recently as 2007. Visitors can already look forward to thrilling performances by the world’s best motorcycle pilots during the qualifying rounds, because similar to the world championship, the battle for the BMW M award will also be entering its decisive phase.
Currently, three riders are the favourites to win the BMW M Award 2009. Having taken the lead in qualifying points, Jorge Lorenzo from Spain (168 points) will be on the starting grid at the Sachsenring, followed by the current world champion Valentino Rossi from Italy (149) and Casey Stoner from Australia (142) who already achieved success in the two previous years.
The BMW M Award has been in existence since 2003. Every season, prior to the first qualifying round, the best test rider is determined, and following the final race, a second title is awarded to the qualifier with the most points obtained over the entire year. At the start of the season, Casey Stoner managed to achieve the best lap time at Jerez in Spain. At the end of the testing sessions he was presented with a BMW 135i Sauber Team Edition for his superior performance.
This world road racing championship, known as the MotoGP, is one of the most attractive and spectacular sport events worldwide. The current racing season comprises 17 rounds held on legendary tracks throughout the world. The "top echelon" of motorcycle sport features four-cylinder, four-stroke engines with a cubic capacity of up to 800 cc and a power output of more than 200 bhp. Depending on the route, the bikes reach top speeds of 320 km/h and more.
"With our involvement in these fascinating motor sport events we are able to reach a target group that is crucial for BMW – motorists who are also motorcyclists," comments Thomas Schemera, head of Marketing and Sales at BMW M Automobile. "This motor sport offers fascination, emotionality, high-tech and internationality – aspects that are closely associated with the BMW brand. This is why we feel so at ease here."
As a long-term associate partner of the MotoGP, the BMW M GmbH is not only marginally involved with the 3,670-metre long, high-speed racing track. BMW M GmbH safety cars contribute towards safety during the qualifying rounds and the race itself. This season, in addition to a BMW M6, the new BMW X6 M will also be deployed as an official safety car. Moreover, the organisational team will have further BMW and BMW M vehicles at its disposal, including a BMW M5 Touring for the safety director, a BMW M3 for the race director, a BMW X5 for the stewards as well as a BMW 330i Touring as a medical car. Furthermore, additional BMW X5 vehicles will be available for the VIP courtesy shuttle service.