Almost a podium for rookie BOOG
May 11, 2010
MX1, Agueda, Portugal, 10 May 2010
Xavier Boog of the Kawasaki Racing Team came within a whisker of recording a podium in only his 4th MX1 GP at Agueda in Portugal.
The 22 year old raced to 4th place in each moto and was headed for a podium finish on the day until another rider got in his way on the next to last lap and cost him the chance of his first trophy in the class.
The Frenchman, clearly established as the best rookie in the MX1 GPs this year, had already laid the foundations on Saturday as he charged through the pack to 4th place in the qualification race, the resultant good choice of gate position allowing him to get through the first corner with the leading pack in both points-scoring motos on Sunday.
Xavier soon established himself in 4th place in the first race, pushing 2008 world champion Philippaerts and defying defending champion Cairoli all the way to the chequered flag.
After another good start in race two he was pushing De Dycker hard for the second place which would have secured him his first podium in the class, but temporarily lost momentum as he touched the Belgian's rear wheel and this allowed the following Desalle to race around them both to clinch the overall win.
A crash at the start of the qualification race meant that Boog's KRT teammate Sebastien Pourcel faced an awkward first turn in the points-scoring races. The fears of Sebastien getting tangled up with other riders at the first turn sadly proved well-founded, but he never gave up charging and was rewarded with two top ten finishes and the hope of better to come as his lap times were also similar to those being posted by the podium men.
Boog consolidated his 7th place in the championship, while Pourcel moved back into the series top ten.
Kawasaki Bud Racing entered two riders in the MX1 class for the first time as Nicolas Aubin joined Gregory Aranda at the start, and, whilst both riders showed good speed, neither of them had much luck in Portugal.
Returning to racing after a three week absence, Aranda proved that he had lost little of his speed but a return of pains in his neck caused him to withdraw from both races whilst looking good for points.
Aubin had a steady introduction to MX1 GP racing with a scoring ride in the first moto but was a victim of first corner bumping in race two and was forced to withdraw a few laps later.
All four Kawasaki riders now head for Spain next weekend confident of a further upturn in results to reflect their proven speed.
Xavier Boog: "It was a great weekend for me, with everything going well on both days. I fought my way to 4th in the qualification race on Saturday which gave me an inside gate, so important at a track like this where the riders drift wide at the fast first turn. That meant I made two great starts, especially in the second moto when I held second place for a couple of corners. I found a good rhythm on the first lap in both races and that makes the racing so much easier. When Cairoli was chasing me in the last few laps of the opening moto I never let him get right on to my rear wheel; I focused on Philippaerts who was third and that helped me to keep my concentration. My start in the second moto was my best of the season; Desalle and De Dycker passed me quickly, but I came back at De Dycker and he was holding me up in the end; I might even have made the podium, but I lost drive when I touched his rear wheel and Desalle was able to ride around us for the overall win and I ended up 4th but now I know I can challenge for the podium."
Sébastien Pourcel: "I crashed at the start of the qualification race on Saturday, and that made my weekend difficult as the rain created big ruts and made it difficult to pass. I could only get back to 17th which meant I was in the middle of the gate and anything can happen from there. I had a good jump from the gate in the first race, but there was a lot of confusion at the first corner. I came out mid-pack but was able to recover to finish 8th. The first corner was again difficult in race two and then I collided with another rider later in the first lap; that left me 24th, but I put in some good lap times to recover to 9th place at the finish. The result should have been better, but at least I know that I have the speed and I'm sure when I can get through the first turn with the leaders I am ready for a podium result. That will be the goal for the next GPs, and I will focus on the qualification to get a better place at the gate."
Nicolas Aubin: "Together with my team I made the decision to move to the MX1 class after the French championship race at Gaillac-Toulza, where I scored a second place behind Boog. I was fairly satisfied with my first qualification in nineteenth and my first start on Sunday was OK, but I made a couple of mistakes during the first lap. The track was rough but I stayed focused to finish in 14th place; that was important to score points. The second race didn't go so well; I got pushed off the track at the first corner and then I made several mistakes as I tried to regain the lost ground. The really positive thing is that I had fun on the bike this weekend and that is a good sign for the rest of the season."