Picture this: high performance superbikes whizzing past, the smell of fuel and the sounds of pitlanes abuzz with technicians and mechanics preparing machines for long stints on track. All this atop the iconic scenery of Le Mans, and for 24 continuous hours at that.

This is exactly what went down on April 20 to 21, when Le Mans hosted the opening round of the FIM Endurance World Championship.

The race marked the 46th edition of the 24 Heures Motos, an iconic racing series that is exactly the motorcycle equivalent of the 24 Hours of Le Mans. It’s been held pretty much continuously since 1978, and is the ultimate test of man and machine.

24 Heures Motos Draws A Massive Crowd To Le Mans

In historic fashion, racers run to their machines at the start of the race. 

This year, the battle was fierce, with big names in the endurance world making for some epic, nail-biting action. Ultimately, the Yoshimura SERT Motul team aboard their Suzuki GSX-R10000 took the win despite a minor crash by Gregg Black that required the team to put in some extra work to make up for their losses.

Clocking in a dizzying 857 laps, the winning team consisted of Gregg Black, Etienne Masson, Dan Linfoot, and Cocoro Atsumi. One lap behind them in second place was the BMW Motorrad World Endurance Team, followed by YART Yamaha in third, four laps behind team BMW.

For the 24 Heures Motos, a total of 78,800 people made the trip to the Bugatti Circuit, bearing witness to the epic racing action from dusk to dawn. It was a sizable turnout, even more so than the 77,200 visitors in 2023. For the 2024 season, the organizers of the event, Automobile Club de l'Ouest, had to implement stricter supervision and security in the campsites, in anticipation of the growing number of visitors year after year. Needless to say, all the effort was worth it.

The Le Mans circuit will once again be home to adrenaline-filled racing action from May 10 to 12, 2024, as the MotoGP heads over to France. Meanwhile, the next round of the FIM EWC will take place in Belgium, where racers will slug it out for eight hours at the 8th of Spa Motos from June 6 to 8.

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And while attendance in this year’s 24 Heures Motos still has a ways to go before reaching the absolute record of 92,000 visitors in 2010, it’s clear that there’s an uptrend when it comes to all things racing, especially now that technology is advancing faster than ever before, and racers are becoming more daring and skilled than ever before.

One can only imagine how much more exciting the grid will be in the coming years as both manufacturers and racers push the bounds of what’s humanly possible.

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