IRTA Tests Barcelona Â 26/27/28 March 2004 BMW Best Qualifier Award 2004 preview As the eagerly anticipated 2004 MotoGP season gets underway this weekend with the IRTA pre-season tests at the Circuit de Catalunya, so the fight for the fastest...
IRTA Tests Barcelona 26/27/28 March 2004
BMW Best Qualifier Award 2004 preview
As the eagerly anticipated 2004 MotoGP season gets underway this weekend with the IRTA pre-season tests at the Circuit de Catalunya, so the fight for the fastest time will begin a season-long battle to win the BMW Best Qualifier Award of a BMW 645Ci worth 80,000.
The winner of the BMW Best Qualifier Award is calculated on an aggregate of accumulated qualifying times from each of this season's 16 Grands Prix, in addition to the times recorded during this Sunday's special preview event, which takes place between 14:05 and 14:45. Lap times from any other session at the Circuit de Catalunya this weekend do not count and, to win the award, riders have to record a time at each of the 17 qualifying events. Should a rider miss one of the events, he will be excluded from the competition.
The winning rider will receive his BMW 645Ci immediately after the final qualifying session of the season at Valencia on Saturday, October 30.
Valentino Rossi won last season's BMW Best Qualifier Award en route to winning the MotoGP championship. But with his move from Honda to Yamaha, he might need to fight harder this year to keep arch-rival Max Biaggi at bay. Biaggi was the second quickest on aggregate last year, finishing the season 4.7 seconds behind Rossi. In third place, Loris Capirossi also took the keys to a BMW 330Cd having stunned the world with the fastest time in the special session at the Circuit de Catalunya with the then-new Ducati Desmosedici. (It proved to be a good omen for the feisty Italian as he was victorious when he returned to the same circuit in June for the Gran Premio de Catalunya.)
Last season's incentive for blisteringly fast laps is to be repeated for Sunday's preview with a special prize, a BMW Z4 2.2I worth 35,000, waiting under the control tower to be presented to the quickest rider when the session ends at 14:45hrs. Prinz Leopold von Bayern, BMW Ambassador and former works BMW Touring Car driver, will make the presentation.
The BMW Motorrad BoxerCup 2004 will be a support race at seven of the ten European MotoGP Grands Prix this season. Close action is guaranteed all the way to the end of the series in Valencia on October 30th. The first race took place on March 6 at Daytona in Florida with American Brian Parriott winning in front of his home crowd. The next race will be at the French Grand Prix on May 15 at Le Mans.
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