In case you were wondering, the “Moto” in “MotoGP” is short for “motorcycle,” but we’d like to think that the M actually stands for BMW’s M division. Why? Take a look at the photo above: BMW is bringing its sporty models back to this year’s MotoGP series as pace/safety cars.
BMW’s M division first partnered with MotoGP in 1999 when it added some graphics and a light bar to a Z8 for use as a MotoGP safety car. In the years since we’ve seen all manner of BMW M cars at the front of the pack of motorcycles, and in 2009 M went so far as to release the X6 M sports activity coupe to the public in MotoGP safety car form.
This year, BMW M provided eight vehicles for the series. The biggest development is the inclusion of the BMW M6 Gran Coupe, fresh off of its debut at this year’s North American International Auto Show in Detroit. The 560-horsepower four-door coupe will be joined by the M6 coupe (with two fewer doors), and an M5 sedan (with the same engine), and all three will be used as safety cars. The track’s safety officer will make use of a BMW M3 in what appears to be frozen gray paint. The medics, meanwhile, will use two of BMW’s M Performance models, the M550d xDrive wagons. Finally, the two safety bikes are HP4 models.
The two models will take to the track this weekend at the Qatar Grand Prix, staged at the Losail International Circuit in Qatar.