Le Mans – France
Geographically, the Bugatti circuit is located 200 km southeast of the capital Paris and 5 km from nearby Le Mans.
It was built in 1965 around the Circuit de la Sarthe, where the Le Mans 24 Hours has been held since 1923. It is named after the designer and founder of Bugatti, Ettore Bugatti. Bugatti shares a part of the track and the pits with the Circuit de la Sarthe. The intent was to organize, in addition to the historic race, also other types of competitions.
The first MotoGP race was held in 1969.
After the serious accident in which the Spanish rider Alberto Puig risked losing his life, the International Motorcycle Federation asked for a series of interventions aimed at increasing the safety of the track.
For this reason, from 1996 to 1999 the French Grand Prix did not take place on the Bugatti circuit. Since the return of the World Championship in 2000, a series of interventions have been carried out, the last of which in 2008, which have changed the layout of the circuit.
Today the Bugatti is traveled clockwise, has a length of 4185 m and has 11 curves, including 5 on the left and 9 on the right. The longest straight is that of the pits which measures about 674 meters.
A lap of the track
At the end of the short straight of the finish, where the maximum speed of about 320 km/h is touched, we have 2 right curves to be connected (Dunlop Curve) as a single curve, respectively curve 1 and curve 2, at the end of which we find a fast left – right (Dunlop Chicane), respectively curve 3 and curve 4. At the entrance to curve 3 we arrive at about 245 km/h and brake for 220 m.
At the exit in acceleration you take turn 5, a left downhill where the second sector begins and at the end of which we find the La Chapelle curve, consisting of a large 180° hairpin bend to the right downhill. At the exit of the 6, which is slightly uphill, keep the bike inclined to face a stretch that deviates slightly to the right and that leads to the next 180° left hairpin bend, the curve 7 (Le Museè) at the end of which the third sector begins. Here you enter wide and at the point of rope in full acceleration you pass on the curb.
Next we have a stretch that curves to the left and leads to curve 8 (Garage Vert), another 180° hairpin bend to the right, narrower than the previous two. At the entrance of the 8 you reach about 250 km/h and the 200 m braking point is an ideal place to overtake. A straight stretch follows which leads to the most demanding braking section of the circuit. At this point you reach 295 km/h and make a detached 245 m, which allows you to enter turn 9, the left Chemin aux Boeufs.
Immediately exiting from 9 follows curve 10, a right that marks the beginning of the last sector. After a short straight stretch you will reach turn 11 (‘S’ du Garage Bleu). a 90° right followed by turn 12, another 90° but this time on the left.
The last two curves, 13 and 14 are covered as a single hairpin bend to the right (Raccordement) from 180°, where it is convenient to overcome the curb, in order to exit tight and launch on the finish.