Often thought of as a Yamaha circuit, Honda riders claimed a one-two at Le Mans last season and defending winning Casey Stoner
expects an even content between the leading MotoGP
brands this weekend.
Without the Marco Simoncelli/Dani Pedrosa collision, Honda riders could have filled the top four places a track where Yamaha was unbeaten from 2008-2010.
But the new 1000cc era has seen the M1 close the gap on the factory RCVs, which continue to be troubled by a stubborn chatter problem.
Stoner, who took the title lead from Lorenzo by a single point with his second victory in three 2012 starts, intends to work further on finding a fix for the vibration this weekend.
“The past two tracks have not historically been my best but I've managed wins at both of them so I'm hoping we can go to Le Mans and be competitive again,” began Stoner.
“I've had some mixed results there in the past, the track layout is unique, it's a little stop-start with a lot of braking and I think this year both the Honda's and Yamaha's will be competitive there.
“It was disappointing that the weather in Estoril on Monday prevented us from testing, we need to work on the chatter issue we have on the bike, so let's hope we have some dry sessions from day one in Le Mans so we can get out on track and work on it".
Stoner believes the arm-pump he has suffered this year is related to the chatter.