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Loris Baz, Tito Rabat, Johann Zarco, Alexis Masbou, Niccolo Antonelli and Fabio Quartararo take a trip to the historic “Château de Lude”.
On Wednesday ahead of the Monster Energy Grand Prix de France local riders Loris Baz, Fabio Quartararo and Alexis Masbou were joined by Tito Rabat and Niccolo Antonelli as they took a trip back in time to one of the most historically important castles in France.
“Château de Lude” is located in Sarthe in the Pays-de-la-Loire region and stands where the Anjou, Maine and Touraine provinces meet. Originally built between the 10th and 11th centuries on the banks of the river Loire to defend against the Normans and English during the Hundred Years War, the chateaux has been inhabited by the same family for the last 260 years.
The riders were greeted in person by one of the chateaux’s current occupants the Countess Barbara De Nicolay and her staff in full historical dress. They were then given the chance themselves to try out some period clothing and given ample opportunity to explore the chateaux and discover its colourful history.
Originally a military stronghold, it was transformed in to an elegant country home during the Renaissance period. The chateaux is world renowned for its transformation throughout the years under the various owners, each bringing their own unique style to the renovation and development of this incredible building. It is also famous for the lavish gardens, which, like the chateaux, have evolved throughout the centuries, combining French design with an English style landscape.
After enjoying the day out it didn’t take long for matters to return to this weekend’s Monster Energy Grand Prix de France and the only French rider in MotoGP™, Loris Baz, is looking forward to racing once again home soil: “It is always different and special to ride in front of your fans. I hope I can give them a good result!” MotoGP™ rookie Tito Rabat is remaining focused on the task at hand as he continues to adapt to the premier class: “The most important thing is for us to try and be fast and consistent with the bike right from FP1.”
Reigning Moto2™ World Champion Johann Zarco thinks it could be a rather special weekend as he races in France for the first time since lifting the title: “It will be an honor to ride as World Champion for the very first time in France in front of all of the fans. For one weekend only I will feel like Valentino Rossi!”
It has been a difficult start to Fabio Quartararo’s second year in Moto3™, but he is hoping to use his home race to turn his fortunes around: “My plan is to make amends for my bad start to the season. I will push as hard as I can in front of the loyal French fans and I hope to achieve a good result.” His compatriot Alexis Masbou is riding the new Peugeot in 2016 in the French manufacturers debut season in Moto3™ and is happy with the progress he is making on the new bike declaring, “Every race the Peugeot is improving!” For Qatar Moto3™ race winner Italian Niccolo Antonelli it is a case of trying to bounce back after two DNFs in a row: “After two difficult races in Austin and Jerez, I want change my luck and get back to being on the podium.”
The French GP kicks off with the official Press Conference on Thursday at 17:00 Local Time, with the on-track action starting at 09:00 Local Time on Friday with Free Practice 1.
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