It's no secret that France is home to some of the most die-hard motorsports enthusiasts in the world. Indeed, with a circuit as iconic as the historic Le Mans circuit, this comes as no surprise. During the recently concluded Shark Grand Prix de France, more than a quarter-million spectators flocked to the Le Mans circuit to watch high-adrenaline MotoGP action firsthand.
Indeed, in 2022, the French GP registered the best attendance of the season, as Frenchman Fabio Quartararo defended his championship title. This year, even without a Frenchman on top, the Shark Grand Prix de France saw a total of 278,805 fans in attendance, setting a new record in MotoGP, as the best-attended event in the history of the sport.
Commenting on the record-breaking attendance, Carmelo Ezpeleta, the CEO of Dorna Sports stated in a press release, “All weekend the atmosphere here in Le Mans has been incredible, so we knew the attendance was going to be high. But to break the all-time record and see it’s well over quarter of a million people is something truly special. We’d like to thank PHA Claude Michy for the incredible event they stage every year at Le Mans, truly one of the highlights on the calendar, and my final word, of course, goes to our fans. Thank you all for your passion and love for this sport. You’ve made it a truly historic day here for MotoGP, and at the 1000th FIM Grand Prix!”
Marco Bezzechi takes the win for Ducati at the 2023 Shark Grand Prix de France.
The weekend was an unprecedented success, commencing with the crowded pitlane walk on Thursday, which gave a glimpse of the upcoming excitement. On Friday, the stands were packed with fans eager to witness the action. The Tissot Sprint on Saturday ensured that the day broke all previous records, with almost 90,000 spectators flocking to the venue for a thrilling day of racing. On Sunday, the crowd continued to pour in, resulting in a remarkable attendance figure of 278,805 for the Shark Grand Prix de France, making it a truly record-breaking event.
Race weekend was concluded with Italian rider Marco Bezzechi taking the victory. It was a one-two-three finish for Ducati, with Jorge Martin and Johann Zarco taking second and third place, respectively. At present, Pecco Baganaia continues to hold the lead with 94 points. However, fellow Ducati rider Bezzechi is just one point away in second place. Brand Binder and Jorge Martin, meanwhile, follow closely behind. At this point, it's still very much anyone's game.
Sources: Le Repaire Des Motards, MotoGP