His best finish so far this year was fifth in Jerez, but Ducati Team’s Valentino Rossi seeks improved results in France this weekend for the fourth round of 18 in the 2011 MotoGP Championship.
And Rossi has luck at the Bugatti track; the Italian has earned three victories there in MotoGP: 2002, 2005 and 2008. Rossi has also done well at Le Mans in the 125cc and 250cc classes.
Ducati says the Bugatti circuit is often described as “stop and go” because it doesn’t flow from turn to turn. Nearly every corner is preceded by a straightaway-some long and others shorter – creating a situation where riders brake particularly hard and then accelerate abruptly.
Valentino Rossi (Ducati Team MotoGP) says: “Le Mans is a historic track, and I always like to go to these places with rich motorsport traditions, even if the stop-and-go layout is a little particular. The atmosphere is always really nice, with the grandstand filled with fans on both Saturday and Sunday.
“The track isn’t particularly technical but maintaining a good rhythm is tricky: there are many points where we brake really hard for corners, so then it’s important to have strong acceleration on the exit.
“We’ll see how well we’re able to deal with those characteristics. We’re coming off a test that confirmed that we’ve started to go in the right direction and, although we’re still in the first phase, we hope we can find a good setup for Le Mans so that we can be faster in the qualifying session. We’re all working hard, and we’re making progress, but we still have to keep improving.”
MotoGP Le Mans Circuit Records:
Circuit Record: Valentino Rossi (Yamaha – 2008), 1’34.215 – 159.910 Km/h
Best Pole: Dani Pedrosa (Honda – 2008), 1’32.647 – 162.617 Km/h
Circuit Length: 4.180 km
MotoGP Race 2011: 28 laps (117.180 km)
MotoGP Schedule 2011: 14:00 (2 p.m.) Local Time