We’ve said it often enough – Xavier Boog certainly ranks amongst the most good-natured riders that you’re likely to run across in the Grand Prix paddock. A smile is forever ready to break across his face, but at the German GP last weekend, even his legendary good nature must have been tested to near breaking point when fate intervened to snatch top overall result from before his nose.
The GP at Teutschenthal was a true home event for the Teka Suzuki team, and the fans arrived in droves to watch and support Xavier and his German teammate, Ken Roczen, who at fifteen years of age had already produced some sensational results in his first few GP’s. The Frenchman laid his card on the table early, and the cards said that he meant business on this weekend. After posting the fifth fastest time in a field of fourty riders, he raced with determination to finish sixth in the qualifying race.
Xavier got off the line like the proverbial scalded cat in race 1 (note to animal protection authorities – no animals were hurt in the writing of this report) and slotted into fifth place, right behind Roczen. The two teammates produced a perfect display of formation flying, much to the delight of the full crowd. They increased the pressure in the boiler room, and the Teka Suzuki train steamed forward. They kept up the relentless pace , and in so doing got by Gp winners Rui Goncalves and Davide Guarneri. The pressure never let off, and at the flag, Xavier was in third position, just four seconds behind race winner Steven Frossard, and one-and-a-half clicks behind his teammate.
A somewhat lesser start in race two had our young hero just inside the top 10. Within a few laps, he was in fifth position, and lurking with intent. On lap 6, however, he coasted to a halt as an unforeseen mechanical malady put paid to his chances. Disappointed as he was, Xavier remained fairly laconic, realizing as he does that motocross is a mechanical sport, and that things sometimes do go wrong. The team had reason to celebrate his teammate’s sensational debut GP victory, but for Xavier, it probably made his disappointment all the more poignant as a double result would have been all the better.
The DNF in race 2 kept Xavier down to ninth overall on the day, not a bad result in itself, but disappointing for him nevertheless. He remains in sixth position in the world standings, but Frossard has now managed to pull clear ahead of him. Xavier will be full of motivation at the GP of Latvia next weekend, and will hope to turn the semi-sandy underground of Kegums to his advantage.