Ride to amazing places
Visit the right European race and be back at work the next day
Few places in Europe are as steeped in motor racing history as Le Mans and come Motogp time it takes over the entire area. Sit in a café during Motogp weekend and if the wind’s in the right direction you can hear the sound of tortured engines and the roar of the crowd. The Bugatti circuit’s proximity to the town gives the race a unique atmosphere.
In the evening Le Mans hangs under a pall of smoke – the by-product of countless out-of-control campfires, mixed with the rancid hydrocarbons of countless engines bouncing off their limiters. Some belong to bikes, others are ripped from Renault Lagunas and welded to shopping trollies.
Motogp at Le Mans is chaos. Normally jam-packed, bikers end up camping on roundabouts and verges near the circuit or even sleeping rough next to their bikes. It is this level of enthusiasm that makes the event essential – the crowds are bikers in the old-school sense, are knowledgeable, passionate and love a drink. On the Saturday night there’s bands, stunt shows and more than a little craziness. The atmosphere, the sense of ‘event’ is in another league to our Motogp round.
All this means the GP is a ticket to another world, but one that’s just a few hours away. It’s 330 miles or four hours ride from Calais. On the right evening, chasing the lengthening shadows down deserted French autoroutes is heaven, especially on a smooth, fast motorcycle. O Info: French Grand Prix, Le Mans, May 21, from £55, www.motogp.com
Le Mans is steeped in racing history
Le Mans Motogp makes a top weekend