Ahead of the HJC Helmets Grand Prix de France, the International Handy Racers were once again given the honour of kicking the GP weekend into gear as they took to the Le Mans Bugatti circuit for a couple of laps. The incredible handicapped racers were joined by MotoGP™ race winner Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda Castrol) and rookie Hafizh Syahrin (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) – as well as Moto2™ home hero Fabio Quartararo (MB Conveyors – Speed Up) and his teammate Danny Kent.
Crutchlow led them away from the line as they fired up their engines, with Stephane Paulus of France, Emiliano Malagoli of Italy, Female Finnish rider Ulla Kulju, Peter Rohr of Austria and Christophe Bernard of Belgium those joining the Grand Prix riders for the flying laps. Crossing the line the first time around in a crowd of wheelies, Crutchlow again led the riders to the line for the final time after their second lap, winding down with a spectacular stoppie as they returned to the grid.
It was then time for a photo opportunity on the grid with the rest of the International Handy Racers, with the awe-inspiring display from the handicapped racers prefacing their first round of the International Bridgestone Handy Race season as MotoGP™ fires up for round five.
During the Media Briefing held at the FIM hospitality, Damiano Zamana the FIM Programmes Director explained, “The FIM supports the initiative made by the French Motorcycle Federation (FFM) and Italian Motorcycle Federation (FMI) in giving the opportunity to disabled riders to compete together. It was fantastic to watch them sharing their passion on the track for a few laps with some famous MotoGP riders. All this was made possible thanks to the support of Dorna, the MotoGP Promoter, and to Claude Michy the organizer of the Grand Prix of France, who is celebrating the 25th anniversary of promoting the event. We are very thankful to them for offering great visibility to the International Bridgestone Handy Race in front of a huge crowd here in Le Mans.”
The action starts today with both the Free and Qualifying practices, and features 27 riders from 9 countries, with the 8-lap race taking place tomorrow at 17:45.