Jorge Lorenzo heads to Le Mans this weekend for the French round of the 2011 MotoGP Championship in confident mood.
Having celebrated his 24th birthday last week the reigning World Champion will be looking to extend his unbroken run of podium finishes so far this year.
An impressive race win at Jerez in treacherous racing conditions and two superb second place podium finishes at Qatar and Estoril mean Lorenzo is the current Championship leader with a four point lead over fellow Spaniard Dani Pedrosa.
Le Mans has so far delivered great results, Lorenzo winning there the last two years consecutively and not forgetting a victory in 2007 in the 250GP class.
Fellow Yamaha Factory Racing rider Ben Spies arrives in France determined to break his run of bad luck with two DNF’s from the last two rounds.
Spies’ last visit to Le Mans in 2010 was also hit by misfortune, a big high side in the final free practice session seeing the American tackle qualifying and the subsequent race in some pain with a swollen ankle, ultimately resulting in a crash on the seventh lap and a DNF.
Both riders will be hunting a set up that delivers optimum balance and control under hard and repeated braking.
Success at Le Mans requires dispatching several tight chicanes at the beginning of the circuit then attacking the short straights and tight hairpins that make up the remainder.
Although arguably most famous for the Le Mans 24HR race, the iconic circuit draws huge crowds for the French MotoGP race.