MotoGP of FRANCE 16-19/May 2013

“I am sure many of us here tonight have hit 63° of lean. The trick is coming back up again.”

--- Guest speaker NEIL SPALDING in his presentation to us on the evolution of chassis design.

Why do Pole Position Travel staff LOVE Le Mans?  Because this is the easiest, most laid-back of all MotoGP events.  Our hotel is in the heart of the charming medieval town, trivial walk to many pubs and restaurants (if we can tear ourselves away from the superb hotel bar/restaurant!).  To get to the track we walk <100m to a tram stop for door-to-door service.

The track itself is easy to get around, and the French fans are all lunatics, making it an enjoyable (if sometimes intimidating!) spectacle!

Happy hours on Thursday go us warmed up.  But sometime we’d like to learn that answer to that ancient question of why - in whatever corner of the world we find ourselves - do we always manage to end up in the local Irish bar? :-)

Friday evening we had our traditional opening dinner, great food and drinks and a cool assortment of special guests.  South African Moto3 rider Brad Binder was telling us about his experience on the new Honda Moto3 (he is the fastest Honda in Moto3 at the moment).  We were delighted to welcome British Moto2 wildcard rider Gino Rea.  We are sponsorsing Gino for this event, and for any further rounds he can manage as a wildcard in 2013. Also representing our sponsored rider was Cal’s dad Derek Crutchlow.  Our star of the evening however was Neil Spalding, who delivered a fascinating 30 minute talk on chassis evolution, supported by a single photograph of Nicky Hayden’s 2006 championship Honda.  We also introduced official MotoGP statistician Dr Martin Raines, who added his own insights, both from his 18 years in this position and prior to this as a university engineer studying chassis and suspension design.  We present Martin with our annual “Unsung Heroes” award, recognising people who have made a significant and largely unknown contribution to MotoGP.

Saturday was a cool, largely dry day perfect watch qualifying. Marc Marquez continued to tear up tradition by taking pole position.  We were delighted when Scott Redding took the Moto2 pole.  Sadly, our rider Danny Webb crashed near the end of qualification and did not race.

In the evening several of us stayed on at the track for an atmospheric dinner with Honda Gresini and a chance to catch up with many riders around the paddock. In town we had an opportunity to sample the charms of the old city - famous in English history as being the home of the Plantagenet family.

Sunday the inevitable French rain hit us, but at least it had the courtesy to wait until the MotoGP.  The Moto3 race was won by Maverick Vinales, with our sponsored riders doing pretty well: Jakub Kornfeil (6th), Brad Binder (8th).  In Moto2, Gino Rea was doing superbly well, having raced from a miserable 31st on the grid to about 11th, whehis engine failed and he was forced to retire.  Still a great showing for the first time out!  The MotoGP race showed that the season isn’t ALL Marc Marquez - as Dani Pedrosa got in front and stayed there for the win.  Bu best of all, our own Cal Crutchlow took his career-best finish of 2nd!

Sunday evening we finished with our traditional closing dinner at what has to be the best restaurant we attend in all of MotoGP.  Proper family-run gourmet cuisine washed down with awesome wines. The restaurant opened for us specially as they do every year, and this year we were honoured to be joined by LCR Honda boss Lucio Cecchinello. What a great close to a great weekend! 

Book next year’s race here.



LE MANS,  FRANCE 16-19/May  2013


Gordon Howell (GH) Pole Position travel guide

Roberto Bocchiolo (RB) Pole Position travel guide

Cormac Ryan Meenan (CRM) Pole Position official photographer

Some reasons to go to the Le Mans MotoGP

See all our photos from the event! Click here...Mugello_Photos.html

Presentation of “Unsung Heroes” award

See all our photos from the event! Click here...Le_Mans_Photos.html

Our video blog of the weekend