06.06.2011  
St. Jean d'Angely, France - Race report
Xavier Boog of Kawasaki Racing Team Europe gave the 2012 KX450F-SR a stunning debut in the French GP at St Jean D'Angely as he narrowly missed the podium after two strong rides. The 23 year old made a good start in the opening moto and was soon putting pressure on the rider in 4th place, but the first three had already made good their escape before he could dispose of the other rider initially ahead of him. Hopes of an even stronger showing in race two were dented in the chase to turn one when he found himself the first ten and after quickly charging to 9th, Xavier took a tumble which cost him four places, a slip which undoubtedly cost him a place on the podium as he remounted to again show his refound speed as he advanced six places again before the chequered flag.
Teammate Jonathan Barragan had also shown good speed during the practice sessions, but the Spaniard never settled into a rhythm after a poor start and could finish a mere 15th. He proved his own potential and that of the 2012 Kawasaki in race two as he held down a solid 6th place at the finish of the second gruelling 40 minute race.
Ben Townley of Kawasaki Team CLS had spent the last month rebuilding from serious injury, and although still far from 100%, the New Zealander gave two great displays of his fighting spirit. In the first race he crossed the line a hard-fought 8th, but an unlucky incident with another rider at the start of the final lap of race two cost him the chance of an even better result in 6th place.
The Kawasaki Bud Racing duo of Gregory Aranda and Davide Guarneri continue to suffer misfortune. Aranda battled defiantly to finish 14th in the second race, even though the 21 year old has been diagnosed as suffering from carpal tunnel syndrome and is encountering great difficulties in holding on. Together with the Bud team he has now decided to bring forward the date of his operation so he will miss the next two GPs in Portugal and Spain as he endeavours to be ready for the second half of the GP season. Guarneri also showed his bravery in the wake of a heavy crash a few weeks ago, but was finding it more and more difficult to concentrate as the races wore on and inevitably lost places in the closing stages of each to finish 19th and 16th.
Xavier Boog: "A crash cost me the overall podium, but it was a good weekend. I found a good rhythm and rode two strong races; in the first one I had a good start; maybe I didn't believe enough in myself to stay with the first three riders. My second start was not quite as good, then after ten minutes I had a crash which cost me four positions; my lap times were good and I managed to come all the way back from thirteenth to seventh, which was pretty good. I had a good feeling on the 2012 model which we used this weekend and I feel I showed my real speed for the first time in a GP this season."
Jonathan Barragan: "The first race was difficult for me, as I had a bad start and then didn't find the good lines. The second one was much better; I had a good speed and after a good start I got a top six result, which is my best performance since Bulgaria. I enjoyed riding the new model, and I hope to come closer to a podium in Portugal or Spain."
Ben Townley: "The team found better settings and my riding improved every time I went on the track all weekend. It was a building exercise and it's just disappointing that I missed one vital lap, the last one of the weekend. The result was a lot better than what you see on paper, and I'm pretty happy with the progress. Starting the last lap of the second race Nagl passed me at the finish line; I kept my line but he crossed it and we collided. I still have a long way to go concerning my physical shape, so I was pleased to achieve what I did this weekend and know what will be possible."
Gregory Aranda: "Last Wednesday I went for a medical check and the doctor confirmed that I am suffering from the carpal tunnel syndrome in my right arm. The plan was to go for surgery after Spain, so I wouldn't miss any more GPs, but this was again a difficult weekend for me. I can't hold the bike and that's frustrating and dangerous, so we've decide together with the team to have the operation already next week."
Davide Guarneri: "After my big crash in Brazil I haven't been able to train so much, and that showed when I didn't qualified so well on Saturday so my position on the grid was not so good. I was thirteenth for most of the first race and tenth for 20 minutes of the second race, but I started to feel a headache and dropped back in the closing laps of both races."
 
   
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