Le Mans Bugatti Circuit – Sarthe, France

Held at the iconic Le Mans track, famed for the 24 hour endurance race, the French MotoGP race has been held here since 2000 and is a firm favourite on the calendar thanks to the immensely challenging circuit. 

The MotoGP at Le Mans should be on everyone’s bucket list, if not for the bikes then definitely to explore this legendary track. The MotoGP race shares the same start / finish track and pits as the 23 hour race, before joining the “Bugatti circuit” within the grounds of the original 13 km track.

“Le Mans is always very hard to deal with – it’s very unpredictable and changeable”

Ken Kawauchi – Technical Manager at Suzuki

At 4.1km it’s a much more spectator friendly event with plenty of grandstands to choose from. While it may not be the full Le Mans experience it’s no less challenging. Built in 1965 it played host to a number of iconic events over the decades. 

There’s plenty to see and do here too with 3 great support races in the form of Moto2, Moto3 and MotoE. There’s also a museum here which is a must for any race fans. 

The Bugatti section includes some of the famous corners from the endurance race, most notably the Dunlop Tyres bridge, Ford Chicane and La Chapelle.

Within the Bugatti circuit you’ll find some equally famous corners and straights. the ‘S’ du Garage Bleu, the Garage Vert back straight and Raccordement where the track rejoins the bigger brother Le Mans circuit and at the Ford chicane. While flatter than the Circuit of the Americas in Texas it features similarly challenging corners that test the MotoGP riders to the limit.

Thanks to its immense size and popularity Le Mans is a very accessible circuit, with a drive from Paris taking around 3 hours. So a drive from the UK and channel tunnel is an option. Or flying in via Paris Charles De Gaulle Airport is probably your cheapest option.

Many rent a car and take the drive down through the beautiful french countryside. Or there’s a train service direct from Charles De Gaulle Airport to Gare du Mans.

Viewing options

T16 Grandstand – Fabio Quartararo

Located closest to the start / finish line. This is the best view of the start of the race, other than the VIP seating. You’ll see the MotoGP bikes line up to your right and blast past you at increasing speed, heading down the pit straight. Tribune 16 sits right on the right hand bend that curves the straight towards the chicane at Dunlop bridge. 

Opposite you you’ll see the pit garages so chances of catching some pit action are high. The higher up the grandstand you are, the better you’re likely to see over the pit wall and in to the garages. Lower seats will feel closer to the action.

This grandstand is raised above the catch fencing so even front row seats are good. There’s also plenty of giant screens here so coverage of the rest of the race is pretty good. Track commentary can be heard through the PA system but unless your French is very good this may not be much help. 

The atmosphere in T16 is great with lots of committed fans enjoying the race and previous sessions too. Seating is reserved here so you’ll need to stick to your own seat for the major sessions, but you can move around and enjoy other views from this grandstand during support races.

T16 is a covered grandstand offering you protection from sun and rain over most seats. It also enjoys great access to the attractions and gate access being part of the main area for spectators. 

T15 Grandstand – Mutuelle Des Motards

With a similar view to T16, T15 sits right where the track starts to curve away from the row of grandstands. You’ll get a better view of turn 1 from here and still have pretty good views of the pit lane too.

The pit wall is opposite you and you’ll get a decent view of the MotoGP riders accelerating out of the pits too.

While it lacks the proximity to the start line that T16 enjoys, it’s not much of a compromise and the added views up turn 1 to the Dunlop Chicane make this a valid choice for your race weekend. 

The bikes are accelerating hard by the time they reach Tribune 16 so you’ll get a sense of speed and noise from this grandstand. As the track curves away you’re not quite as close to the action as T15 but only pushed back by a few extra metres. 

This is a fully covered grandstand and raised like T16 so the views are panoramic and nicely shaded. The cover tends to increase the noise levels here too so bring ear plugs if you’re sensitive. 

T14 Triumph Grandstand

Located opposite the pit lane exit you’ll get a great view of the bikes blasting up to turn and battling for position. The track drifts away from this grandstand as the MotoGP riders lean into the right hander of turn 1. The pit lane is to your right so you may struggle to see an action in the garages.  

The view of the start of the race is also likely to be obscured by the many fans in T15 and T16 to the right of you. So big screen viewing is a must at this point. Once the race is up to speed you’ll enjoy the riders screaming past you at full throttle.

Dunlop Bridge is visible in the distance to your right and you’ll get an excellent view of the tightening curve of turn 1.

The pit lane exit curves around alongside the track here and joins just before the chicane which is just out of sight. 

While you’ll get a sense of speed and excitement being so close to the start / finish line, viewing angles here are somewhat compromised.

It’s not my favourite grandstand but does at least offer good views of the pit lane exit and brings you close to the atmosphere that only the pit straight can provide.

T12 Grandstand 

This grandstand is located further along this row of grandstands at the main straight, with the Dunlop VIP grandstand between it and T14. The views here are markedly different from the previously reviewed grandstands mentioned above.

Most notably for the immense amount of run-off gravel in front of the grandstand. It doesn’t feel so bad when you’re looking to your right towards the pits but is very pronounced as you follow the MotoGP riders into turn 1 and beyond.

This has in the past been the Valentino Rossi fan club grandstand and you can still expect plenty of veteran MotoGP fans to be here in this limited capacity grandstand.

It is fully covered although in a different configuration to other grandstands in the area. Personally I think, with a better solution for shade and rain protection.

Riders are at full speed and attempting overtakes at this point so on track action is high here. The noise is somewhat reduced compared to T16, 15 and 14 as the bikes are further away, although the canopy roof does still capture a lot of sound.

The greatest bonus of T12 is the view after turn 1 up to the Dunlop chicane and bridge of turns 2 and 3. You’ll catch the action going up the incline where the chicane reaches the crescent of the hill.

For this feature alone the grandstand is well worth considering as its a great back-on view of the riders trying to out-do one another into turn 2.

There’s a giant screen on the inside of the track but as this is quite a distance from the T12 grandstand it’s not the easiest to view from. The limited number of seats in this grandstand make it perfect for those that prefer to avoid large crowds and congested stairways between sessions. 

T11 Privilege Grandstand

Much like T12 next door, this grandstand features a slanted canopy roof and is pushed back even further from the track due to the large gravel run-off area at the end of the pit straight. 

On the plus side the views up to turn 2 are even better than from the T12 grandstand so if you’re looking to catch the action in this section it’s worth considering. 

One notable oddity here is the stairway into and out of the grandstand. The guard rails of which obscure the view for the unlucky few rows just behind and to the sides of it. It’s not a massive deal breaker but isn’t the best design.

There’s one large TV on the inside of the track, shared with the other grandstands on the outside of the track. Its distance makes viewing fairly useless, especially for timings. I’d recommend using the MotoGP app for live timings if you can get local data on your phone.

On the plus-side you get pit walk access with these tickets on the saturday for around 30 minutes. Check the exact time of the pit walk when you get your tickets. 

Seating here is reserved and as the grandstand is raised and so far back from the track it really doesn’t matter where you sit. Higher seats have an arguably better view of the brow of the hill at the Dunlop chicane.

T10 Marc Marquez Fan Club Grandstand

Another small canopy roofed grandstand here with even more run-off in front of it. This grandstand is great for fans of the legendary MotoGP rider Marc Marquez so expect a lively atmosphere with plenty of committed fans.

The track is some distance from the grandstand, one of the worst of all the grandstands at the circuit for proximity. You do get good views of turn 1 and the run up to the hill where the Dunlop chicane of turns 2 and 3 are located. There’s a great sense of speed here and despite being so far back you do get a sense of a panoramic view. 

Having said that, only seats to the far right and at the front are likely to get any views down the pit straight and mostly obscured by the grandstand guard rails anyway. So most of what you view will be right in front of you.

The giant screen is to the right of you a little and too far away to read for some people. Download the MotoGP app on your smartphone to get live timings and English language commentary.

With service roads and vehicles, camera setups and marshals in front of the grandstand, it’s by no means the best seats in the house. There are certainly better options at the Bugatti Le Mans circuit. But for fan atmosphere on race day it’s a good and relatively cheap option.

T5 Goodyear Grandstand

Despite the large amount of run-off in front of the grandstand, T5 does actually enjoy an impressive panoramic view of turns 1, 2 and 3 as well as the iconic Dunlop bridge to your left.

To your right you’ll see the bend of turn 1 and the grandstands mentioned above. The hill drops down to your right so when the grandstand is full you may struggle to see further down the hll, but as the grandstand is raised the views are pretty good all round.

The track is at its furthest from you at the start of turn 2 where the Dunlop Chicane is located. It’s quite a distance of run-off here so expect to view the MotoGP riders at a fair distance. The track then kinks left, towards you slightly before the right hand out of the chicane and under the Dunlop bridge. 

All of this action unfolds in front of you with an unbroken view. Covering a decent amount of the track at this location. It’s an exciting part of the track too, famous for its tyre shaped bridge, sharp braking zone and sweeping battles around turn one, especially at the start of the race.

All seating here are numbered, with higher rows being the preferred option as you’ll see over the safety fencing. Seats further to the left get you closer to the action out of turn 3 and under the bridge, while seats to the right will have a better view of turn 1 and the run up to turn 2.

A giant screen is located to the left of the grandstand on the inside of the track. It’s a fairly decent size especially if you’re sat to the left side of the grandstand closer to the Dunlop bridge. 

I recommend seats in mid rows, to the left of the grandstand, for the best views of the chicane and action towards the bridge.

T4 Honda Grandstand

With its bright red seats and large canopy roof, the T4 grandstand sits right next to the famous Dunlop Bridge. It faces back down the hill so you’ll have the exit of the famous Dunlop chicane right in front of you.

T4 is the closest grandstand to the actual track in this section, with a lot of your view falling away down the hill back towards turn 1 in the far distance. It’s all about the chicane here although the safety fencing does hamper the view somewhat.

Even at mid to high level seats you’ll have the catch-fencing to contend with. Still the atmosphere here is great with plenty of nearby grandstands in front of what is an exciting part of the track.

Due to the grandstand facing back down the hill, the views here are less than panoramic. While you can see the MotoGP bikes racing up the incline towards turn 2, there’s no view to your left as the large Dunlop Bridge archway obscures your view completely. 

Those with higher seat numbers will be situated on the left of the grandstand and if your row is towards the back you may be lucky enough to see beyond the bridge and further down the track. Treat that view as a bonus rather than something to count on.

Proximity to a giant TV screen here is good with it located just across the track next to the bridge. Large enough to read rider lap times. There’s some good general admission spots nearby where you can appreciate the raw speed of these MotoGP bikes, worth considering for support races. 

T37 Ducati grandstand

One of the few uncovered grandstands at the Le Mans circuit. T37 is located on the inside of the track, facing the T4 and T5 grandstands opposite. 

Most of the action happens at the run up to the Dunlop Chicane to your left with the chicane turning right, dead ahead, before the riders accelerate hard under the Dunlop Bridge to your right. 

There’s a lot of run-off, service roads and safety areas here that push this grandstand back from the racing action more than is ideal. This small grandstand feels like more of an afterthought than a serious contender for race viewing. Nevertheless the price point matches the quality so if you’re on a budget and want to sit close to the iconic Dunlop Bridge, this might be a good choice for you.

On the plus size a moderately large screen is located within the concrete safety barriers so you can easily follow all of the track action and lap times.

Also if any incidents unfold at the chicane you’ll be sure to see it all right in front of you.

The view here is semi-panoramic with action up the hill to your left and the bridge to your right. But its open-air uncovered setup does mean you’ll need to carry a waterproof coat, umbrella and sun-cream, depending on the forecast. 

T3 La Chapelle Grandstand

The other side of the famous Dunlop Bridge, T3 sees the riders battling down to turn 4 known as La Chapelle. The track drops away from the top of the hill by the bridge. This is where the full Le Mans track and the Bugatti track go their separate ways. With the latter curving around and heading off into the distance in front of you. 

The grandstand sits on the outside of the start of turn 4, with riders leaning right and sweeping around the corner with incredible grip. The fast nature of this section means there’s a lot of large run off gravel, with a modest amount between the grandstand and the track.

This is often a good spot for some early race action as the riders are bunched together and taking some daring moves out of the Dunlop chicane and down the hill to turn 4. 

A giant screen is located to your left in a rather odd position. Blocking the full Le Mans track, it is raised above a safety barrier, should the MotoGP bikes end up down this road. 

All seats here have the safety fencing partly obscuring your view of the track, due to the circuit falling away down the hill. This isn’t too much of a problem as the bikes are going fast enough. Only the brow of the hill by the dunlop bridge may be above the fencing for those in higher rows.

T40 & T41 Grandstands

Together the T40 and T41 grandstands encompass the viewing options of the Garage Vert bend which switches back on itself right in front of you. Heading down the long fast straight with similar views from both grandstands. 

T41 is situated head on to the entrance of this corner with plenty of run-off gravel pushing it back from the actual track, but with good reason as the MotoGP riders head into this hard braking zone taking incredible risk right in front of you.

T41 offers the best views of the entrance while T40 is situated more on the exit of Garage Vert slightly closer to the track as less run-off is needed on the exit.  This area is shared with a sizable amount of general admission on a man-made mound next to T40. So the entire corner is surrounded by a decent amount of crowd, creating an excitable atmosphere.

There’s no grandstand covering here so dress for the weather and expect long walks to the grandstands if you’re hunting around for pre and post session entertainment. Amenities here are lacking somewhat compared to the track closer to the pit straight. 

The perk of T40 and 41 is witnessing the immense braking forces of these bikes going into the corner, leaning in hard turning right before blasting on down the back straight at full throttle. There are few places on the track where you get to see all of this right in front of you with an unobscured view. 

The grandstands are also raised higher than the catch fencing so views are unbroken. There’s a giant TV screen on the inside of the track which serves T40 better than T41. I recommend using the MotoGP app for lap times as they’ll be hard to read from this distance. 

This is one of the best grandstand choices if you’re on a budget. 

T54 Grandstand

Looking back down the track is always a treat and S54 is where this is well served. An uncovered grandstand at the entrance of the famous S bleus.

The long back straight finally reaches you with MotoGP bikes racing towards you at colossal speed, the brake hard before turning right and navigating the S. 

This modest little grandstand is a more comfortable option than the general admission standing zones located nearby and its raised position offers a great view down the track.

Due to it facing a fast braking zone it inevitably has a fair amount of run-off in front of it, with a barrier beyond that and a sizeable service vehicle area too. 

To make up for this there’s a closely situated giant screen just to your right, easy enough to read lap times. The track twists and turns in front of you before heading off to your left hand side down to the last corner of the Bugatti Le Mans circuit. 

While it’s not the most exciting of atmospheres here it is at least an impressive view at the end of the back straight and a chance for an overtake right in front of you. Proximity to the track is as good as it can be in this area but it’s not the best.

A decent choice if you’re on a budget but still want to be within a short walk to the amenities and entertainment that being at this end of the circuit can provide.

T52 Yamaha Fangio Quartararo Grandstand

Situated on the entrance to the last corner, the race down to this turn is long enough for riders to take one last chance before blasting up the famous Le Mans start / finish straight. 

To your right you’ll see the riders navigating the exit of the S Bleus, the track on a slight decline dropping way in front of you as they brake and turn in to the right hander.

All of this unfolds neatly in front of you with grandstand 30 nearby creating an excited atmosphere in this section. 

This is an uncovered grandstand so bring weather appropriate clothing and provisions, for a covered grandstand try T30 close by. 

The back-on view of the last corner here offers a unique view as riders attempt an overtake, with plenty of run off should the worst happen. 

There’s only one giant screen here located slightly to your right and isn’t at the best angles for a decent view. 

T30 Grandstand

My least favourite grandstand in this area but still worth considering if you want to be close to the major action. It has the worst of most worlds here.

The run down to the last corner is obscured slightly by the T52 grandstand. Its sandwiched between multiple service roads too as this is where the Bugatti circuit meets up with the full Le Mans circuit. A little bonus of actually being place on top of the original Le Mans track.

There’s also a large amount of run-off in front of you here with multiple track configurations confusing the view somewhat. 

On the plus side you get to see the MotoGP riders battling around the last corner right in front of you, with the powerful blast down the main straight just to your left. 

Here’s an aerial view of T52, T30 and T23

T30 is also uncovered so you’ll need to carry clothes for all weather and be prepared for a bit of a trek to reach the awkwardly located grandstand.

Having said all this the ticket price is reasonable considering its proximity to the main straight and the views of the track in front of you are unbroken thanks to its raised altitude and sitting at the bottom of the slight hill.

T23 Raccordement Grandstand

This is one of the more famous grandstands for this part of the track as it overlooks the Le Mans chicane that traditionally ends the lap. For the Bugatti circuit that MotoGP uses the view is somewhat different, with the fast run down from the S curves to the last corners. 

There’s very little to look at to your right with the MotoGP track configuration, so the action is all to your left slightly. The riders lean in harder around the fast flower final curve before accelerating hard down the pit straight. 

Your view here is mostly down the straight with a decent view as the bikes head away from you. 

There’s a fair amount of run-off area and service roads in front of you but where this grandstand differs from those nearby (T30 and T52) is that its covered, sheltering you from the weather.

Seating is reserved here with higher numbers to the left getting a closer view to the track action. Seats to the right are closer to service roads and run-off so the left side is definitely where you want to be.

T34 Grandstand and Prestige Lodge

For the highest of VIP status check out the Prestige Lodge or (Loges VIP) located directly above the pits. The glass panes lean out over the pits here offering a few down into the pit lane and the race track close by.

Fully enclosed, you can still hear the bikes as they rev up and scream down the main straight to turn one at the start of the race. 

But the Prestige Lodge is all about fine dining and schmoozing with other race fans and corporate guests. There are both private boxes and larger dining options available depending on the size of your group. 

MotoGP viewing options include access to the grandstand that sits above the lodge, while fine dining options are a sit down meal on the Sunday, with breakfast and lunch on Saturday. 

There’s also an open bar on both days and you’ll get all the VIP treatment including an exclusive Sunday pit walk and access to the paddocks too.

Tickets include VIP parking and access to the VIP only grandstand from Thursday to Sunday. 

The downside to these tickets? Grandstand viewing from the top level above the lodge means its hard to view the pit lane, something that lower priced ticket holders enjoy on the opposite side of the track. Boxes are limited in numbers and their enclosed nature doesn’t provide a panoramic view. Windows can however be opened to soak in the full atmosphere of this iconic race track.

Grand Prix Club and Grandstand

On Saturday and Sunday of the race weekend, one of the best views in the house is from the Grand Prix Club. Situated right in front of the middle pit garages, It’s two tiered raised view means you’ll see all of the main straight action, and I do mean all.

Viewing here is at the highest level, both metaphorically and physically. The top tier offers limited Cinema style seating in an enclosed box area protecting you from the weather, while giving you a top-down view of the race track and garages. 

Tickets include a buffet service of food for lunch and dinner, a stand up open bar too, with plenty of decent views of the track here too. 

There’s a number of flat screen TVs located above the bar and seating areas so you’ll get up-close HD quality views of everything happening on the rack.

There are plenty of other perks to these VIP tickets too including visits to the paddock and pit lane during the Saturday, exclusive access to the VIP parking area which is highly convenient if you’re driving to Le Mans. 

Pit Walks are included and are not to be missed

The views, the noise, the proximity to the track, pits and start line make this a real once-in-a-lifetime experience. It’s hard to fault this option, maybe the only problem being your seats aren’t close to any corners. 

You can access the VIP seats here from Thursday to Sunday, with the VIP food and drink services available on Saturday and Sunday. There’s also quick access to the fan zones and of course you can walk the track and visit general admission locations any time during the weekend.

Pilots Club Grandstand

Located between T14 and T12 you’ll find T13, better known as the Pilots club or “Club Des Pilotes” as its locally called.

The views from the seats and bar above are fast and flowing as the Moto GP championship riders scream past on their way to turn 1. The action is fast and furious here, with a view back down the straight to your right and up the hill to the Dunlop Bridge to your left. 

Enjoying some of the same extra luxuries as the Grand Prix Club tickets, the Pilots Club has a stand up bar located above the grandstand as is semi enclosed for viewing comfort. You’ll get 2 buffet style meals included as well as an open bar. Saturday offers lunch and dinner buffets while race day is breakfast and lunch with the bar closing at 5pm on race day.

This is a real exclusive club atmosphere here with limited tickets available.

You’ll get access to Saturday pit walks, paddock visits too and access to the “meet the drivers” session on Friday and Saturday. Not to be missed if you’re a big MotoGP fan. These 4 VIP sessions make the tickets well worth the extra cost, especially if this is a gift for a loved one who’s mad about MotoGP.

The downside? The view isn’t the most exciting, with cheaper grandstands closer to the start line offering more in the way of atmosphere. But what this grandstand lacks in excitement it makes up for in comfort and VIP exclusives.

My advice, head to the top level grandstand in the Pilots Club for the best views down the track to the start line and up the Hill to turn 2.

General Admission tickets

There are plenty of good vantage points for those looking for low cost general admission tickets. While you may need good walking shoes, this ticket does at least mean you can try out all sorts of corners and locations to find the one you like the most for race day.

The view opposite T40 grandstand

More opposite T40 Tribune

A popular section is alongside the T40 grandstand where a long man-made mound gives an elevated view of this hairpin corner and fast back straight. Depending on where you need to go at the end of each day this can be quite a walk to get to but you’ll pass plenty of other spots to view from as well.

Inside the circuit near to T40 and general admission on the outside.

Between T4 and T5 is a good option to check out the Dunlop Chicane. 

There’s plenty of raised mounds along the back straight although viewing is limited to bikes going at full speed.

Also try within the circuit, opposite the Pilots club

One great bonus to general admission tickets is that under 16s can enter for free. Offering a great chance to bring family along without blowing the budget.