Garrett Gerloff: Impressed by the new BMW M 1000 RR MotoGP™ Safety Bike.
Austin. Before he rides for the Bonovo action BMW Racing Team in the FIM Superbike World Championship (WorldSBK) at Assen this weekend, BMW Motorrad works rider Garrett Gerloff spent a few exciting days in his home of Texas. Gerloff was in Austin to visit the Grand Prix of the Americas in MotoGP™ – and took the opportunity to take the new BMW M 1000 RR MotoGP™ Safety Bike onto the track for a spin. The new safety bike, provided by BMW Motorrad Motorsport and BMW M, was officially presented during the Grand Prix weekend in Austin.
BMW M 1000 RR MotoGP™ Safety Bike & BMW M2 MotoGP™ Safety Car
2023 is BMW M’s 25th season as Official Car of MotoGP™. As part of the partnership with MotoGP™ rights holder Dorna Sports, BMW M has provided the official safety car fleet since 1999. For many years, a BMW Safety Bike has been a permanent fixture in this fleet – first the HP4, then the BMW S 1000 RR and, since 2021, the BMW M 1000 RR. This season, the new BMW M 1000 RR takes on important roles as a safety vehicle.
Garrett Gerloff & Axel Mittler
During a MotoGP™ weekend, the safety bike takes on various tasks that are important to ensure that practices, qualifying sessions and races run smoothly. “A few minutes before the start of the races, for example the MotoGP sprint race on the Saturday or the regular race on the Sunday, the safety bike completes so-called inspection laps,” explained Axel Mittler, Marketing Manager MotoGP™ at BMW M GmbH. “The purpose of this is to check, shortly before the race start, that the track is in good condition, or whether there may be dirt, oil or something similar on the track.”
Garrett Gerloff on the BMW M 1000 RR MotoGP™ Safety Bike
From Thursday to Sunday, the safety bike also takes to the track for the technical test laps several times a day, in order to check the onboard and data acquisition systems. “Our safety bikes – we have one on site at overseas races and two in Europe – are equipped with the same sensor technology as the race bikes in MotoGP, Moto2 and Moto3,” said Mittler. “During the technical test laps, the safety bike is used to check that the timing is still correct in the sectors, and that all other data is recorded correctly.”
Television viewers regularly take their place on the seat of the BMW M MotoGP™ Safety Bikes: on the Friday, TV stations use the bikes to record onboard footage during the ‘Media Laps’. This is then shown during programmes on Grand Prix weekends.
During the presentation in Austin, Gerloff took the new safety bike for a few laps of the Circuit of The Americas (COTA) – and he was impressed. “The bike was incredibly impressive,” he said. “I was also very impressed by the power on the back straight and the brakes when you come from the straight at 320 km/h and are then straight into the super tight first-gear corner. It does not feel much different to being on the race bike, and that is excellent. Plus, it looks fantastic. It was fun taking it out for a spin. MotoGP can consider itself lucky to have such a high quality safety bike in the BMW M fleet.”
The new BMW M 1000 RR MotoGP™ Safety Bike is therefore ideally equipped for its outings on the racetrack.
A video clip of Gerloff’s laps on the new BMW M 1000 RR MotoGP™ Safety Bike can be seen here on the MotoGP™ YouTube channel:
Gerloff now switches back to the seat of his WorldSBK race version of the BMW M 1000 RR with the Bonovo action BMW Racing Team. Meanwhile, the new BMW M 1000 RR MotoGP™ Safety Bike travels from Austin to Jerez de la Frontera, where it will next be in MotoGP™ action on the last weekend in April.