It’s hard to believe, but the first MotoGP race of the 2021 season is coming up at the end of March. The Grand Prix of Qatar at Losail International Circuit will kick off the new season in style. If you spend any time watching racing, you’ve probably noticed the safety cars that most racing series use. They’ll lead racers on warmup laps at the start of races, or come out to slow down the action if a yellow flag situation arises.
BMW introduced its new safety car fleet for the MotoGP series on March 9, 2021. Now, the Bavarian brand has been supplying a fully-specced safety car fleet for the MotoGP series since 1999. For 2021, though, BMW is making a rather significant change.
The 2021 BMW MotoGP safety fleet at Qatar will include three cars: an M3, an M4, and an M5 CS. For the very first time, though, BMW Motorrad is also sending out an M 1000 RR Safety Bike to join the safety fleet on track this season. It’s also BMW’s first-ever M-badged bike, and the company says that a race version will also participate in WSBK in 2021.
Just a couple of weeks later, BMW will formally introduce the remainder of its 2021 MotoGP safety fleet on April 18 in Portimão, Portugal. That’s when an M8 Competition Coupe Safety Car, an M8 Competition Gran Coupe Safety Car, an X5 M Medical Car, and one more M 1000 RR Safety Bike will join the ranks of the first BMW safety squad.
“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’,” BMW M CEO Markus Flasch said in a statement.
“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.”