The time has come and the 2021 FIM MotoGP™ World Championship is now underway as the Barwa Grand Prix of Qatar lights up Losail. BMW M has been the ‘Official Car of MotoGP’ since 1999, an involvement that includes the provision of the safety car fleet. This year marks the first time that BMW M GmbH is presenting four new safety vehicles for the season-opener: three safety cars and a safety bike. In Qatar, the BMW M3 Competition Sedan Safety Car, the BMW M4 Competition Coupe Safety Car and the BMW M5 CS Safety Car celebrate their debuts. They will be joined by the new BMW M 1000 RR Safety Bike. The BMW M 1000 RR is the first M model from BMW Motorrad and the racing version will be appearing in the Superbike World Championship.
The 2021 safety car fleet will be completed at the first European race of the season, the Grande Prémio 888 de Portugal on 18th April in Portimão. The BMW M8 Competition Coupe Safety Car, the BMW M8 Competition Gran Coupe Safety Car, the BMW X5 M Medical Car and another BMW M 1000 RR Safety Bike will be in action from then on.
Markus Flasch, CEO BMW M GmbH: "The safety car fleet is the focal point of our involvement in the MotoGP and we are very proud to be starting the season with four new vehicles for the first time in our 20-year history as ‘Official Car of MotoGP’. Our three new safety cars are based on production models, which deliver outstanding performance and driving dynamics that make them ideally suited to appear in the MotoGP. They will be joined by the new BMW M 1000 RR as the safety bike. The first M model on two wheels has been developed in motorsport and will meet the most exacting requirements on the racetrack. We are looking forward to the season-opener in Qatar and seeing our new fleet in action."
Carmelo Ezpeleta, CEO of Dorna Sports: "With this new safety car fleet, our partner BMW M once again demonstrates their level of commitment and passion for the MotoGP. In 2021, we will be embarking on our 23rd season together and the presentation of the fleet with three new safety cars and the new safety bike is a real statement. It shows the strength and seriousness of our partnership and we are very grateful to BMW M GmbH for this involvement."
The production versions of the new safety cars have already been designed for sporty performance and perfect driving behaviour. Therefore, only a few adjustments were required to allow their use as safety cars in MotoGP. These modifications include light bars, flashing front lights, motorsport quick-release bonnet latches and emergency power shutoffs for overseas transport. The rear seat has also been removed from the BMW M4 Competition Coupe Safety Car and a rollbar and 4-point sports harness have been installed. The BMW M3 and BMW M4 Safety Cars have been AGA modified.
BMW M is taking a new approach to colours with the safety cars this year. Instead of appearing in classic motorsport white, the safety vehicles will be sporting exclusive colours from M production models: the BMW M3 Competition Sedan Safety Car in Frozen Grey Dark Metallic, the BMW M4 Competition Coupe Safety Car in São Paulo Yellow and the BMW M5 CS Safety Car in Frozen Deep Green Metallic. When designing the livery, BMW M has again chosen to stay with a classic, purist safety car look. It emphasises the basic colours of the vehicles, simultaneously underlining the typical appearance of a safety car. The new BMW M 1000 RR Safety Bike is white with the well-known M colours, bearing the livery that the BMW M 1000 RR will also be using in the Superbike World Championship.