Today we take you on a lap of the circuit, as seen from trackside. On Thursday, little moves on the track, and so we are free to go round the circuit, if we so wish. Most people go round on the scooter, many riders go round on a bicycle, mixing physical training with mental training. I like to circulate on foot, to get a sense of the elevation changes around the track. Here's my lap of Le Mans:
Looking out across the Departement de la Sarthe, on the way up to the Dunlop bridge
The Dunlop bridge marks the high point of the circuit,
The track then dropping down to La Chapelle
They've set up a giant screen, which also doubles as a road block for the route to the 24 hour circuit
There's quite a drop from Dunlop down through La Chapelle. This is the inside of La Chapelle.
It's then up and over, down towards Musee
Which is another tight pseudo-hairpin
Coming out of Musee, you head downhill again, this time into Garage Vert
They added a lot of hard standing on the outside of that corner. Most riders don't like it, as it means you can make a mistake and not suffer the consequences.
Out of Garage Vert, and onto the back straight down towards the two sets of esses
Hopefully, though, you won't find a truck on the racing line
At the end of the back straight is a good place to attempt a pass, the Chemin aux Boeufs
If you get lost, there's signposts telling you your way round
After the Chemin Aux Boeufs comes the funfair, and the Garages Bleus esses
The big wheel provides an excellent view of the track. The giant bungee is probably a little too scary to allow much of a view
Out of Garages Bleus, and into the final rurn, the double right of Raccordement
Which really is two corners, even though the riders treat it as one
Raccordement offers several lines - if you're on a scooter
And then you're off back up the hill, across the line and into the Courbe Dunlop.
Making a note of the conditions as you cross the line
The strangest thing about the track is it is right next to an airfield for light aircraft, so you see single-engined planes appearing above the stands ...
... and circling overhead.
The TV cameraman's eyrie. They're perched up their all race. Nice under blue skies, not so nice when it's raining.
Sound is easier. No human intervention required.
The fire and safety patrol cars, lined up for action on Sunday
Not quite as swish as the official MotoGP safety cars
The French Grand Prix. Brought to you by Nster Ergy.