2004 BMW Best Qualifier Award won by Rossi
2004 MotoGP World Champion Valentino Rossi wrapped up the BMW 2004 MotoGP Best Qualifier Award this afternoon at the circuit of Valencia after speeding to another front row start. His cumulative time of 29 minutes, 24.225 seconds came from adding all of his season's qualifying times together, with the addition of the official MotoGP Winter Test session in March. Rossi will be presented with a brand new BMW 645Ci worth €80,000 tomorrow evening at the end of season FIM Awards presentation in Valencia alongside his 6th world title trophy.
"My motivation for this season was very high to win with my new team, and I have come out as the winner. It is fantastic. Maybe I have to build another garage for my new car!" Said the Italian Yamaha rider after the session that was held under perfect blue skies.
Rossi was only 0.963 seconds ahead of arch-rival Sete Gibernau who has finished a close second in the 2004 MotoGP championship. Rossi, aboard his Yamaha, has re-written many records over the season including eight wins and five pole positions up to the eve of the Valencia race, the highlight of which was being the first rider to ever win back to back races on different makes of motorcycle.
Right from the word go when Rossi was fastest at the Official MotoGP winter test in March where he won BMW Z4 2.2i worth €35,000, no-one expected the 25 year old to run away with the series to such an extent, but Gibernau, Biaggi and Tamada all won races too over a thrillingly exciting series as six people in total clinched pole positions. His pole position at the opening race of the year in South Africa wrong footed his opponents from the word go, leaving him never headed in the battle for the BMW 645 Ci.
Rossi won the BMW Best Qualifier Award last year collecting a brand new BMW Z4 when he finished 4.7 seconds ahead of Max Biaggi, but this year the Roman rider finished third, 9.125 seconds behind Rossi.
BMW will have the final BMW Motorrad BoxerCup race tomorrow after the MotoGP race in front of 120,000 spectators who will be packed into the Valencia grandstands from before sun rise. Thomas Hinterrieter has already won the title and will be presented with his prize of a brand new BMW M3 after the race, but the battle for the remaining places is still red hot. Belgian Sebastien Legrelle will start the 18 lap race from pole position.
BMW has been supplied all of the safety cars for the MotoGP series throughout the 2004 season with 745, 645Ci and M3 CSL cars. This weekend has also seen the brand new M5 at the track with many MotoGP riders having the chance to lap in the V10, 507 hp car.
The 17 race 2005 season starts in Jerez, Spain on April 10th with a schedule that includes a return to Laguna Seca in the USA, and a debut Grand Prix in China at the Shanghai circuit.