This weekend it could not be a greater contrast – the place will be buzzing. Rock Concerts, public autograph sessions and rider appearances, stunt shows plus the fun fair with the obligatory dodgems and big wheel gives the place more the feel of a festival, until the serious business of racing gets underway. A French rider starring in the premier class, where a certain Johann Zarco (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) has propelled the popularity of the sport in his home country. After all, the last French premier class winner was Regis Laconi, 19 long years ago, and Zarco has reignited a flame with the French sporting public.

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