Home heroes Fabio Quartararo (Petronas Yamaha SRT) and Johann Zarco (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) were joined by Repsol Honda Team’s Jorge Lorenzo in Paris ahead of the Shark Helmets Grand Prix de France, with the three making a pit stop in style to see the sights and sounds of the City of Light.
On Tuesday, Quartararo took a trip through the Metro near the world-famous Moulin Rouge with the Frenchman posing for photos and filming at Blanche station. That was while compatriot Zarco headed for the Champs-Elysees for his own filming session and the two geared up then for a night to remember at one of the most famous venues on Earth.
The birthplace of the can-can, the namesake of the Hollywood modern classic and a well-known Parisian landmark, the Moulin Rouge remains an icon to this day. Still putting on shows and welcoming crowds through the door more than a hundred years since inception, the forerunner to cabaret remains a frontrunner in visual spectacle – and that’s where Quartararo and Zarco were headed for Tuesday evening.
A troupe of more than 80 artists put on the spectacular “Féerie” show the riders were treated to, with the splash of colours lighting up the stage as everything from sequins to feathers shimmied their way towards the can-can and then the grand finale. And then, when the curtain came down, it was time to head backstage.
There, the riders were able to meet the dancers and Zarco even compared a few moves with some, doing a few backflips backstage but leaving the splits to those who’d warmed up – and whose costumes were a little more accommodating. Both riders were then also able to get up on stage and see the set they’d just enjoyed from afar.
The next morning, it was back on the tourist trail and this time it was the Eiffel Tower on the agenda. One of the most famous, loved and visited sites in the world, the tower receives almost 7 million people each year – so what’s a famous few more from MotoGP™?
Lorenzo joined Quartararo and Zarco for the final stop on the ways to Le Mans, with the three posing for a photo opportunity in front of the tower…and a local artist capturing the moment too, with a little help from a five-time World Champion!
Jorge Lorenzo: “It’s always nice to see this monument, more than 100 years of history and still looks so young! It’s wonderful, and together with Johann and Fabio and the bikes. it’s a nice event and hopefully it’ll bring me some luck for the weekend. The first four races ave been difficult to get results, to be competitive. but in the Jerez test we found some details that will probably give us more speed and hopefully we can show it here at this track.”
Johann Zarco: “Pretty nice event in Paris, we have fantastic weather again in Paris, and ‘working’ in Paris streets, big avenues, in our leathers with the bike near to the Eiffel tower is a special feeling we can’t have every day…and yesterday in the Moulin Rouge it was a fantastic show and I enjoyed it a lot so the whole thing has made me smile and has almost made me forget the French GP! But on Friday i’ll be back on the bike, happy to be there and happy I’ve done some tests here before so it’ll help me have as good pace as possible from FP1.”
Fabio Quartararo: “I think I’m kind of different to other people who take the focus. A lot of people must be calm, thinking totally about the race but I’m completely the opposite. I have to do a lot of activities, not think a lot about the race and I think it’s good to have an event in Paris and, of course, at the Eiffel Tower! I’m feeling good. Of course we will try to do our best in the French GP, but it was good to get back on the bike after Sunday, and the Monday test was really positive.”
Top photo: Zarco (L), Lorenzo and Quartararo (R)