Martin Goureau, the safety officer for the legendary Le Mans circuit, has confirmed that the lap times at the French MotoGP could be 'between one and two seconds' faster in 2017.
The big difference in expected lap times is due to the fact that the entire Bugatti circuit was resurfaced recently.
The MotoGP riders and teams will get a taste of the improved grip and pace of the La Mans circuit on May 21 in the fifth round of the 2017 MotoGP Championship wich starts on March 26 with the Grand Prix of Qatar.
In an interview with paddock-gp.com, Goureau explained that the plans for the improvements to Le Mans started around two years ago when MotoGP riders approached him and his team saying the surface had bumps in it and lacked grip.
"This process began two years ago when we were approached by the MotoGP riders. They said the surface was lacking grip and especially complained that there were a lot of bumps," said Goureau.
"Some of the asphalt was 10 years old. Repairs had been made to other parts, such as the Dunlop chicane, so there were a lot of joints in the asphalt.
"We've done a complete resurfacing and now there are only three joints. The reason for three is because the work took three days, which is itself a huge effort, and the new joints were carefully placed in areas where they pose no concern.
"Now there are no joints in any braking zones or corners. Before, the worst joint was located at the entrance to the Museum corner. It was after several right turns so sometimes the tyre being more cold on the left side, combined with this small bump, was enough to lose grip, as we saw last year.
"We've tested the new asphalt in cars and also with the new GSX-R ridden by Damien Saulnier. Even in the wet, the grip is crazy! With RS10 [road tyres] you could take Chapel at 70km/h in the wet, now you can take it at 110km/h.
"We are very pleased and eager to see what it will be like at the highest level… I would say that pole position [for the MotoGP] will be between one and two seconds faster a lap," he added.