A Travellerspoint blog

May 2012

MotoGP Le Mans 2012

Day 1

The day started well. Sunny. Met Woody (my brother Neill) at the Stop 24 services and fuelled up and the had 3 mile ride to the Shuttle.

The train was packed with bikes all heading one way or another the 250 miles to Le Mans or thereabouts.


Our first stop was Rouen for lunch and a look around the old city. The cathedral was being renovated and we were unable to see the statue of Joan of Arc.


We did see the old clock down a side street and went to have a look.


Near the clock was this rather racy door frame of what is now a chemist.


The final hundred or so miles off toll roads took us in a strange loop when we expected the N138. We arrived at the hotel about 5pm. A quick change and we were out again to the supermarket to buy provisions for Saturday's practice day.

Day 2/3

After breakfast Saturday we took the non-toll route to Le Mans. Woody leading as my TomTom was misbehaving. See

At the track they affix a sticker to the headlamp and give you the other half. On leaving both have to match. 7243700792_ffeec08635.jpg
They also want to see the biker's log book. French ones are small, our are four pages of A4 and paper. As it is peezing down there is no way I am getting mine out of the topbox!

We arrived in time for the Moto2 free session and all three classes qualifying. All the commentary was in French. A summary in English at the end is spoken by a guy that learned English in a vacuum.

It drizzled all day. Rained hard at times. Almost trench foot.

That evening it was the Champion's League Final and the nearby Campanile Hotel had a TV lounge. The night before I booked us in there for dinner, and by extension two seats to watch the foorball. Worked a treat.

Sunday. Up earlier, same route, same rigmarole to park, same logbook stays in topbox. Found a space near where we were yesterday.


There are plenty of grandstands and about half of them are free. They were chock full.

We saw the warm-up and then all three races. Of course we were supporting the British riders with backups of Valentino Rossi in GP.

In Moto2 our riders Scott Redding and Bradley Smith were pressing for the podium and after a scare Bradders dropped way back and fought back to 8th. Scott did better and as the last British rider to win a GP, got another podium. Sadly in MotoGP we had a disappointment when Cal Crutchlow came a cropper when contesting for third with Rossi and Dovisioso. The ride for James Ellison was more successful as he was first across the line to be the CRT class winner.

There are few photos as it was raining I left the Canon DSLR packed away in the pannier and took the Sony compact.


The weather looked up and it was drying as we left for "home", but it didn't last. Raining again for the last twenty miles or so.


We have been wearing waterproof over clothes for almost three days. Luckily trenchfoot hasn't set in

A brief dry spell in the evening meant we could go and get dinner but the rain soon came back.


Day 4
After breakfast it was time to load up the bikes and set off for home. As usual it was raining. The TomTom that had played up all over the weekend had decided to work again. Don't ask why. It just did.

The plan was to head northwards and call in at Montormel. We had only seen it on a leaflet in the hotel and it looked worth a visit.

And this is where things went a little awry. The gps location printed on the leaflet had E and W the wrong way around. After a fruitless ride around some small villages, we gave up. Re-entering the co-ords, but right this time, and we could see where it was.

We aborted and set off for Camembert, stop 2 in the plan, instead to buy a few cheeses and see what there is. Not much to be honest. By some fluke, we passed the Montormel sign as we rode on.


With the time we had lost not finding the Memorial, we made for the motorway and rode back towards Rouen. With fuel starting to get a little low on the free section of the A28 we caught up with a long column of Harleys and we turned into the services and the fuel stop. We bought some sandwiches and then headed up the road a little and stopped to eat them.

We finally arrived back at the Shuttle in time to get a slightly earlier crossing home.

Posted by InvictaMoto 14:11 Archived in France Comments (0)