After completing a day’s testing at Mugello on Monday, the Ducati Team is now heading towards the fifth round of the championship, and the second race in Europe this season. The next Grand Prix in fact takes place at the Le Mans circuit in France, located around 200 kms from Paris.
The Bugatti Circuit, where the bike racing events are held, forms part of the history of the sport and, although it shares just a small part of the Sarthe Circuit where every year the legendary 24 Hour car race takes place, it offers a fascinating spectacle for the numerous French fans who flock to the circuit every year.
Andrea Dovizioso has often obtained good results at the French track, in particular last year, when on his debut with the Desmosedici he qualified on the front row, was in the lead for some of the early laps in the wet, and then finished fourth. Cal Crutchlow’s form at Le Mans is also pretty good, the British rider qualifying fourth in 2013 and finishing runner-up, his best result of all time in MotoGP.
Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team #04)
“Last year I went well both in qualifying and the race here at Le Mans, and it’s a circuit where I think we can be closer to the front. As for results it’s going to be difficult because this year there are many strong riders, but I think we can do well, even though the weather conditions are always an unknown factor. I am in any case happy to go to Le Mans, after fifth place at Jerez for sure it’s a positive moment for me.”
Cal Crutchlow (Ducati Team #35)
“Le Mans for me is a strange circuit but last year I had a great race. I managed to take a podium and a second position in MotoGP. Given the conditions you never know what it’s going to be like on a race weekend, but I look forward to riding the Ducati there. After the recent bad luck run of races, hopefully we can go to Le Mans and start to have some good results. The right hand is still a bit sore, but I think we should be a lot better than we were at Jerez.”
The Le Mans Circuit
The Bugatti circuit is located 5 km south of the town of Le Mans and 200 km south-east of Paris. Built in 1965 around the Le Mans 24 Hour track, at the end of the 1960s the circuit was chosen as the venue for the motorbike Grand Prix, and then it returned to the calendar in 2000 after a series of modifications to improve safety. Le Mans is a narrow track with a series of unusual corners, which force the riders to brake hard and accelerate rapidly. It has four left-hand corners and nine right, the longest straight measures 674 metres and it can accommodate more than 100,000 spectators.
Circuit record: 1’33.617 – Dani Pedrosa (Honda) 2011
Qualifying: 1’32.647 – Dani Pedrosa (Honda) 2008
Race length: 28 laps (117.2 km)
Start: 14:00 (GMT +2)
Bike: Ducati Desmosedici GP14
Race number: 04
Age: 28 (born on 23 March 1986 in Forlimpopoli, Italy)
Residence: Forlì (Italy)
Races: 208 (110 x MotoGP, 49 x 250cc, 49 x 125cc)
First GP: 2001 Italian GP (125cc)
Wins: 10 (1 x MotoGP, 4 x 250cc, 5 x 125cc)
First win: 2004 South African GP (125cc)
Poles: 14 (1 x MotoGP, 4 x 250cc, 9 x 125cc)
First pole: 2003 French GP (125cc)
World titles: 1 (1 x 125cc)
Bike: Ducati Desmosedici GP14
Race number: 35
Age: 28 (born on 29 October 1985 in Coventry, UK)
Residence: Isle of Man
Races: 55 (55 x MotoGP)
First GP: 2011 Qatar
First pole: 2013 Assen TT