BMW M2: The 2023 MotoGP safety car

8 minutes

The safety car has become a critical part of ensuring MotoGP races are as safe as possible; and this year’s car is a spectacular BMW M2!

Safety Car BMW M2 de MotoGP 2023
BMW M2: The 2023 MotoGP safety car
Safety Car BMW M2 de MotoGP 2023

All the details about the new MotoGP safety car

The BMW M2 meets all the requirements that can be demanded of a Safety Car: it’s powerful and fast in order to respond promptly to any incident that could occur. It is a compact but high-performance vehicle with a TwinPower turbo inline six-cylinder engine capable of performing at 460 horsepower and a top speed of 250 km/h (155 mph). In addition, it features high quality equipment from the entire BMW M series, like the Recaro seats with six anchor points, chassis, and M Performance exhaust, as well as carbon fiber casings, diffusers, and spoilers.

Coche Safety Car de MotoGP 2023 en el GP de Portugal

The MotoGP safety car can really impress, with the traditional characteristics of a high-performance sports car and state-of-the-art technology. It is equipped with all the essential accessories needed for its task: fire extinguisher, safety light device on the roof of the car, and matching headlights. Its combined fuel consumption data according to WLTP is 9.8 – 9.6 l/100 km, with combined CO2 emissions according to WLTP of 222 – 218 g/km. In 2023’s edition, the BMW M2 MotoGP™ Safety Car has the standard BMW M look: blue, red, and black on a white background. Apart from this M2, BMW will also provide MotoGP with more vehicles for the circuit medical team. They will include models from the M range and several M1000 RR safety bikes.

Coche Safety Car de MotoGP 2023

What is the purpose of the safety car?

It’s fundamental. On Grand Prix weekends, early in the morning of each day, before any activity begins, the Safety Car does an inspection of the track, checking that each race steward is in place with the necessary material. We could say it’s like a commander who inspects their troops.

Imagen del Safety car BMW M2 de MotoGP 2023

The Safety Car is especially important at the start of races. It opens the track before the riders approach the formation lap, and it remains in front of the grid until five minutes before the start of the warm-up lap, when it once again does a lap to end up at the end of the grid, behind the bikes. Once they have completed the warm-up lap, the Safety Car follows them so that it can intervene in any serious incident that may occur. The Safety Car also “shepherds” the riders, forcing them to keep a certain pace, because if there is one rider going too slow – something that could slow down the start and affect other racers – the Safety Car may overtake it, and the rider would have to start behind it.

Coche Safety Car de MotoGP 2023 en el Gran Premio de Argentina

How many safety cars are there in a Grand Prix?

There are actually two safety cars at each race. The organization’s internal nicknames for them are Omega 1 and Omega 2 and the second vehicle gets on the track once the grid has formed, behind the first car, just moments before the race begins.

Both cars are essentially urgent medical assistance vehicles, and it’s where the MotoGP medical assistance team doctors travel with all of the necessary material for responding to emergency situations.

Coche Safety Car de MotoGP 2023 en el GP de Argentina

Apart from these two Safety Cars, MotoGP regulation clearly determines what other medical vehicles should be present to respond in case of an emergency. Safety cars are considered Type A. Type B vehicles would be an ambulance with life support and other emergency response equipment, whereas Type C vehicles are those with a stretcher and ready to transport an injured person. 

Regulation establishes the medical team that each vehicle must carry. In the first car there must be a doctor specialized in emergency care and a second doctor or paramedic with similar experience, while in the second vehicle there should be two paramedics with sufficient experience in emergency response; and both vehicles must have the medical material needed to respond to any possible situation, from oxygen, manual ventilators, intubation systems, to a defibrillator.

History of MotoGP safety cars

Safety on the circuits is a fundamental matter in MotoGP Grand Prix, but it wasn’t really until the past thirty years that rules have been established and all matters related to safety have been looked at carefully, both actively and passively. This has meant that the safety vehicles that line up immediately following the bikes have become a crucial component to improving race safety.

Coche Safety Car de MotoGP 2023 en el Gran Premio de Argentina

Since the 80s, we have become accustomed to seeing an emergency vehicle behind the motorcycles, but it took a long time for this figure to be regulated, because they were so varied, both in their safety equipment and in their technical features. Who needed to be in charge of them, what tasks were to be performed, what equipment was provided for it?

It wasn’t until the mid-90s that the Safety Car was introduced into regulations and assigned specific functions. And in 1999, Dorna, the commercial rights holder of the MotoGP World Championship, reached an agreement with BMW so that the German manufacturer would be the official supplier of the MotoGP safety car; and it’s already been 25 years since that first collaboration.

The most iconic models of the MotoGP safety car

Imagen con diferentes modelos de BMW Safety Car que ha tenido MotoGP

In all those years, there have been numerous models that have met the function of the MotoGP safety car. These are some of the most memorable:

BMW Z3 M Coupé (E36/8) MotoGP Safety Car in 1999 and 2000:

1999 was the start of the long relationship between BMW M and MotoGP. And the BMW Z3 M Coupé, a classic two-seater that’s a favorite of car lovers, was the first chosen to fulfill this function.

BMW Z8 (E52) from 2001 to 2003:

The legendary Z8 with its 400 horsepower made this roadster an instant icon at the start of the 2000s.

BMW M3 Coupé (E92) from 2008 to 2010:

The safety vehicle fleet in these years was led by the BMW M3 Coupé (E92) with its naturally aspirated 4.0-liter V8 engine with 420 horsepower.

BMW Series 1 M Coupé (E82) MotoGP Safety Car in 2011:

The safety car from the 2011 MotoGP season really helped make the model popular.

BMW M4 Coupé (F32) MotoGP Safety Car from 2014 to 2015:

The BMW M4 Coupé MotoGP safety car’s technology was the predecessor of what would later arrive with the BMW M4 GTS.

BMW M4 Competition Coupé Safety Car in 2021:

3.0-liter twin-turbo inline six-cylinder engine, with 510 horsepower, 650 Nm of maximum torque, automatic transmission, all-wheel drive, 0-100km/h in 3.9 seconds, and an electronically limited top speed of 250km/h. Who would want more?

A complete list of all the BMW models that have been MotoGP safety cars since

1999 – 2000: BMW Z3 M Coupé (E36/8) MotoGP™ Safety Car

2001 – 2003: BMW Z8 (E52) MotoGP™ Safety Car

2004 – 2006: BMW M6 Coupé (E63) MotoGP™ Safety Car

2007: BMW Z4 M Coupé (E85) MotoGP™ Safety Car

2008 – 2010: BMW M3 Coupé (E92) MotoGP™ Safety Car

2011: BMW Series 1 M Coupé (E82) MotoGP™ Safety Car

2012: BMW M6 Coupé (F13) MotoGP™ Safety Car

2013: BMW M6 Gran Coupé (F06) MotoGP™ Safety Car

2014 – 2015: BMW M4 Coupé (F32) MotoGP™ Safety Car

2016 – 2017: BMW M2 (F87) MotoGP™ Safety Car

2018: BMW M5 (F90) MotoGP™ Safety Car

2019 – 2020: BMW M8 (F93) MotoGP™ Safety Car

2021: BMW M4 Competition Coupe MotoGP™ Safety Car

2022: BMW M2 CS Racing MotoGP™ Safety Car

2023: BMW M2 MotoGP™ Safety Car

Imagen del Safety car BMW M2 de MotoGP 2023

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