BMW M Award 2022: Francesco ‘Pecco’ Bagnaia wins coveted prize as fastest MotoGP™ qualifier of the season

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The final qualifying session of the 2022 MotoGP™ season is over, which meant it was time for the traditional presentation of the BMW M Award at the final in Valencia, Spain on Saturday.

 

Image supplied by BMW Group South Africa 

 

This year, Francesco ‘Pecco’ Bagnaia won the coveted accolade for the fastest qualifier in MotoGP™ for the first time. His exclusive prize: the first BMW M3 Competition Touring with xDrive. The BMW M Award is an important pillar in the close partnership between BMW M GmbH and MotoGP™ rights holder Dorna Sports, in existence since 1999, and was awarded for the 20th time this year. Franciscus van Meel, CEO of BMW M GmbH, and Carmelo Ezpeleta, CEO of Dorna Sports, presented the prize to winner Bagnaia in Valencia.

 

Ducati rider Bagnaia took pole position five times this season. With his qualifying results, he picked up a total of 293 points for the BMW M Award classification. This gives him a lead of 11 points over his closest rival Jorge Martin after 20 events.

 

In addition to the winner, there was another BMW M Award first in Valencia: After the award ceremony for Bagnaia, van Meel and Ezpeleta unveiled the winner’s car for the 2023 season. Previously this has always been presented in the spring of the respective classification year. Another real highlight awaits the fastest qualifier of 2023: the all-new BMW M2, which made its world debut in South Africa in mid-October. The unveiling in Valencia was also the new vehicle’s Spanish debut.

 

“The award for the best qualifier at the final has become a firm tradition for us, and I am delighted to be able to hand over the winner’s car for the BMW M Award to Pecco Bagnaia for the first time,”

said BMW M CEO van Meel during the award ceremony.

“Many congratulations on his superb performances in qualifying this season. I am sure that he will have a lot of fun with our first BMW M3 Touring, which is about to be launched soon. We are proud to have presented the BMW M Award for the 20th time. It is fantastic that this accolade is still as appealing to riders as it was two decades ago. Which is why I am pleased that we are able to look ahead to the next MotoGP season and the BMW M Award 2023 here in Valencia. The new BMW M2 is our latest M high-performance automobile, which made its world debut very recently – making it the perfect winner’s car for next year.”

 

“Congratulations to Pecco Bagnaia – it was thrilling to watch how he performed in qualifying,”

said Dorna CEO Ezpeleta.

“Pecco is the winner in a special milestone year: Our partner BMW M is celebrating its 50th anniversary, and the BMW M Award was presented for the 20th time. The first BMW M3 Touring as the winner’s car is a fantastic way to honour the performances of our riders. I’m also delighted to be able to join Franciscus van Meel in looking ahead to next season. The new BMW M2 for the BMW M Award 2023 is a seamless continuation of the line-up of awesome winner’s cars that BMW M has been wowing us with for 20 years.”

 

“I’m so happy to have won the BMW M Award,”

said winner Bagnaia.

“It has been my goal since I started riding in the MotoGP, and I finally achieved it this year! Huge thanks to BMW M, this appreciation for us as riders really is fantastic. I can’t wait to get in my winner’s car. And now that I have seen the prize that is up for grabs next year, all I can say is that I will be doing my best to defend my BMW M Award victory.”

 

50 Years of BMW M: Various activities in Valencia.

There will be various other activities at the season finale in Valencia to mark the 50th anniversary of BMW M. On Sunday afternoon, spectators at the track will go on a journey into the past of the ‘Official Car of MotoGP™’. In a ‘Legends Parade’, all the safety cars that have been responsible for ensuring safety in the top tier of motorcycle racing since 1999 will take to the track together. The 15 vehicles in all that will be taking part in the ‘Legends Parade’ include the safety cars BMW Z8, BMW 645 Ci, BMW Z4, BMW M4 Competition, BMW M8 Competition and BMW M8 Gran Coupé, as well as the current safety car fleet around the BMW M3 Touring MotoGP™ Safety Car.   

 

A further highlight awaits visitors to the presentation area in front of the BMW M motorhome in the paddock: The new BMW XM will be on display. The first BMW M hybrid combines the high performance of a BMW M with the latest generation of powerful plug-in hybrid technology, and embodies the expressive lifestyle like no other car.

 

As part of the FIM MiniGP™ World Series finals in Valencia, the all-electric E-Mini safety car, which has been acting as the pace car in the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship, will make its debut in motorcycle racing.

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