Length: 4.18 km // 2.6 mi
Location: France // 47.94986,0.20752
Situated in the Sarthe region a few hours south west of Paris, Le Mans is one of the world's most famous motorsport venues, legendary for its 24-hour races. The Bugatti circuit - very different to the longer 24-hour car track - returned to the bike GP calendar in 1999, since when the event has built a huge following in bike-mad France. The circuit is very stop-and-go, with plenty of slow turns where braking and acceleration performance are primordial. Riders and their engineers therefore concentrate on honing their machines' braking stability, as well as improving rear-end traction for the numerous hairpin exits. The layout was changed slightly last year to improve safety at Turn One and into the first chicane.