Ride to amaz­ing places

Visit the right Euro­pean race and be back at work the next day

Motorcycle News (UK) - - Contents - Matt Wildee, Se­nior Ed­i­tor

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

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.