Colin Edwards, Dani Pedrosa, Jorge Lorenzo, Valentino Rossi and Randy de Puniet were present for the official press conference at Le Mans on Thursda (pictured), ahead of this weekend's French MotoGP.
Current title leader and reigning world champion Lorenzo, kicked off proceedings and the Yamaha Factory Racing rider is anticipating another competitive weekend at a track at which he has won for the past two seasons.
“It's a track that is normally good for the Yamaha but we will see what happens this year because the competitors are really strong, they have improved their bikes a lot,” said Lorenzo, who is set to make his 150th GP start this weekend.
“We are leading the championship, we are also competitive and at the Estoril Test we tried some parts that will improve the front feeling a little bit, so I'm excited to try this here.”
He added: “I love the track, it's very flat and has a lot of chicanes, which is one of my specialties. Also you have to carry a very fast corner speed. This suits my riding style.
"The circumstances can change a lot so we start here with an open mentality, hope and with a lot of excitement.”
Dani Pedrosa trails his fellow Spaniard by just four points in the standings after his victory in the previous round at Estoril, and the Repsol Honda rider's confidence is evident following his improved physical condition.
“I hope I can do well here because I will ride with some pain still, but I think there is nothing abnormal about this after having [collarbone] surgery and rehabilitation,” said Pedrosa, who has two premier-class podium finishes at Le Mans to his name. “Right now I'm still sore but I hope I can improve during this weekend.”
“It's a track I've had some MotoGP podiums at and some poles, so I'm happy to be here. To finish on the podium for the opening three races with that kind of [shoulder] problem was, for me, very good. But the Championship is very long, and we must try and maintain the rhythm in every race.”
Valentino Rossi has a strong record at the circuit, having stepped onto the podium seven times in the premier class, three of which have been victories.