BMW awards quickest rider

GIBERNAU QUICKEST TO WIN BMW 1SERIES Spain's Sete Gibernau today threw down the gauntlet to his rivals for the 2005 MotoGP title when he was quickest during the 40 minute Official MotoGP Test Session 2005 to win a brand new BMW 1Series. For ...

GIBERNAU QUICKEST TO WIN BMW 1SERIES

Spain's Sete Gibernau today threw down the gauntlet to his rivals for the 2005 MotoGP title when he was quickest during the 40 minute Official MotoGP Test Session 2005 to win a brand new BMW 1Series. For the rider who finished a close second in the 2004 title hunt for the world's most prestigious motorcycle accolade last season, Gibernau now has the psychological upper hand on his rivals before the eagerly awaited opening MotoGP race on April 10 in Jerez. Victor of the BMW car 12 months ago and the reigning World Champion, Valentino Rossi, dug deep to set a winning time but just missed out by 0.419 seconds to finish a close second to arch-rival Gibernau. Rossi was visibly annoyed with missing out on the car, thumping the fuel tank of his Yamaha after he'd missed his chance.

MotoGP Race Director Paul Butler together with Axel Zimmerman of BMW handed over the keys of the BMW 1Series to Honda riding Gibernau moments after the session, but Gibernau also had his eyes on a new BMW M5 parked just metres away that is the prize for the BMW Best Qualifier Award made up of all the grid times of the 17 race season, plus today's session. The 507bhp car will be awarded at the culmination of the season in Valencia on November 6th.

"The most important thing was that today I did my job. This morning I did a full race simulation and everything worked well. Then this afternoon, for the fans, who have chanted by name all day, I tried hard during the official practice to win the BMW. This was for them, but I've not decided what to do with the car at the moment!" Said the nine-time Grand Prix winner, Gibernau.

To prove Gibernau's speed, the lap record from last season around the 4.7km track was 1m 44.641 seconds, and even with a new asphalt surface having been laid, Gibernau's time was 1m 41.851, nearly a mind-blowing 3 seconds faster.

The curtain raising session to the season was full of drama as 2000 World Champion Kenny Roberts fell off his Suzuki at over 150kph, but was fortunately uninjured, whilst Max Biaggi's Honda failed to fire into life for his final blast with less than 4 minutes remaining. The Italian was quickest on the previous two days of testing at the track and was left dejected having been denied the chance to show all his cards come the climax of the session.

Down the main straight of the Barcelona race track, speed was still of the essence in motorcycling's premier class as Japan's Makoto Tamada (Honda) was quickest through the speed traps at 330kph

2005 will continue to see BMW as the Official Car of MotoGP, supplying the new M6 and M5, both with the stunning 507bhp V10 engine. The rest of the fleet will be made up of 330i Touring as the Medical Car, a 750i for the Race Director, a 545i Touring for the safety officer and X5 4.4i for the Race Steward.

The brand new BMW Motorrad PowerCup series will support MotoGP at seven different venues around Europe with the all-new BMW K 1200 R. The opening race for the 175bhp 4 cylinder machine will be at the French Grand Prix at Le Mans in mid May.

-bmw-

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About this article
Series MotoGP
Drivers Max Biaggi , Valentino Rossi , Sete Gibernau , Kenny Roberts Jr.