Keeping MotoGP Safe

We talk safety with Enrique Sierra

MotoGP is the pinnacle of motorcycle racing and features the best riders in the world on high-performance racing prototypes. High-performance and motorsport genes – attributes with which the BMW S 1000 RR is also synonymous.

The successful partnership with organiser Dorna Sports has grown consistently over the years, and is set to continue to run well into the future. Partnerships like this, which span decades, are extremely rare in top-class international sport. At the heart of the commitment is the provision of the BMW Safety Fleet.

But how exactly does the BMW S 1000 RR help to keep the MotoGP Championship riders, staff and spectators safe? BMW Motorrad UK sat down with Enrique Sierra, BMW Safety Bike rider and TV Director, to discover how the S 1000 RR impacts his work during a weekend both on the track and in the director’s studio.

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First Enrique, what is your background? Did you race before?

Enrique Sierra: “I raced before, but never at a super high level. I did a lot around the Catalyuna circuit and gained a lot of experience with good bikes, racing bikes, from what I did there. Never MotoGP bikes, but a lot Superbikes. I’ve been riding bikes since I was four years old so I have a lot of experience! I’ve been working with bikes my whole life.”

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How does the BMW S 1000 RR impact your work?

ES: “We do a lot of tests with the BMW S 1000 RR before the weekend starts. The on-board cameras are tested with this bike, we test all the systems ahead of the weekend as this bike is used a lot for filming laps. We also test the timing system to ensure everything is functional and make sure that every part of the circuit has coverage and signal for both the timing and the TV cameras. We can’t have any cuts. By riding the S 1000 RR we can also get an idea of where the MotoGP bikes will move and shake when they are going faster. At Dorna, I am also the director of the track feed cameras and these laps really help me a lot to understand the track, the corners and the overtaking areas. From the TV point of view this helps us to add some bracing for vibration reduction to the on-board cameras if we need.”

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And what makes the S 1000 RR so well suited for these test laps?

ES: “It is important to do these opening laps as fast as possible and be as close to MotoGP as possible. This can be quite difficult as those guys are a step above everyone, but the S 1000 RR is not too far away from a MotoGP bike, it makes it easier. This bike is very good for this job, the power is not far away from the Grand Prix bikes and it is stiff like a race bike, which is important for the safety part of these laps. You get the same vibrations on the bike as the MotoGP riders get when they are riding. But it is much easier to ride, the power more smooth and user friendly.”

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You must also have a lot of input on the safety of the track after these laps.

ES: “I have one hour on track to do all these laps and after this I join the Race Direction team, Loris Capirossi, Franco Uncini, Mike Webb, for their safety walk of the circuit. As I’m one of the first to ride the circuit during a weekend at a high speed, I’m able to share what I’ve seen on track. Thanks to the laps with the S 1000 RR I’m able to assess the asphalt and the corners and give a first impression of the circuit. We can either amend any issues we see or at least tell the MotoGP riders ahead of time to be careful maybe in this corner or not to touch the corner here because it’s a little dirty. You need a very specific, powerful and accurate bike to do these tests.”

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A bike designed to excel on the road and on the track, the BMW S 1000 RR is a truly versatile tool in Enrique’s hands – helping to keep riders safe and produce the awe-inspiring TV spectacle that is MotoGP.

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Moto GP

Find out more about MotoGP and the role BMW Motorrad plays

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The highlights of the S 1000 RR

Split face with large air inlet.
Racing sport brake pads.
Cockpit with analogue speed indicator.
BMW plate.
Typical gill profile.
Swing-arm from racing sport.
Slim real.
Exhaust system.

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