MotoGP, the most action-packed world championship on the planet, continues its pre-season test programme at Barcelona this weekend. The first 'action with intent' takes place during a showdown hour of 'qualifying' at the official MotoGP test. The immediate objective is to win the BMW Award of a brand-new BMW 1 Series car for the fastest rider at the end of what should be an explosive 60 minutes.
International sporting hero and six-times world champion Valentino Rossi is surely the man to beat as the riders battle to be the quickest man around the Barcelona track in preparation for the first Grand Prix of the 2005 season (at Jerez in Spain on 10 April). Loris Capirossi and Valentino Rossi have driven BMWs away from the Barcelona track for the past two years. This year's quickest rider will leave with a BMW 1 Series - the only car in its segment to have rear wheel drive, offering superior handling and dynamic qualities never before experienced in the sector.
Lap times from this session will also go towards the BMW Best Qualifier Award 2005. The end of series BMW award accumulates competitors' times from the 17-race grid times throughout the 2005 season. The prize for the lowest cumulative time (taken over the season) is a prestigious new BMW M5 (featuring a V10 engine, 507 bhp, a zero to 62 mph time of 4.7 seconds and the world's first 7-speed SMG Drivelogic gearbox fitted to a road car). Only after the last qualifying session of the year at Valencia in November will the winner of the BMW Best Qualifier Award 2005 - and the breathtaking M5 - be decided. Last year, Valentino Rossi was the lucky recipient of a BMW 645Ci worth 80,000 euros.
BMW also continues in its role as official car supplier to the MotoGP World Championship. The German company will supply the recently launched M6 and the all-new M5 to the series. Both market-leading cars feature the awe inspiring 507 bhp V10 engine. The rest of the MotoGP BMW fleet includes a 330i Touring as the medical car; a 750i for the race director; a 545i Touring for the safety officer, and a X5 4.4i for the steward.
BMW Motorrad's successful BoxerCup championship is being replaced in 2005 by a new seven-race PowerCup series, which will further enhance BMW's involvement in MotoGP. The bike used in this exciting new championship will be the race prepared BMW K1200 R naked muscle bike, which delivers 175 bhp from its four-cylinder, high-torque engine. The first race gets underway at Le Mans on 15 May.