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Roczen amazes with Grand Prix debut

MX2 World Championship Agueda/ Portugal

(PresseBox) (Bensheim, ) A warm and bright Grand Prix of Portugal at the Agueda circuit, less than 100km south of Porto, was the scene of the fifth round of fifteen in the 2009 FIM World Championship and saw the Teka Suzuki Europe World MX2 at full strength for the first time this season.All three riders in the MX2 class, Xavier Boog, Yohei Kojima and Ken Roczen, scored points but the debut efforts by teenager Roczen in his very first GP appearance caught the eyes of the entire circuit and the 25,000 attendance as he flew to 7th position overall, notching a second moto result of 4th on the RM-Z250.

The weekend offered a variety of conditions. Saturday was hot and dry with a hard and slippery track while a strong, cool breeze blew across darker clouds and eventually some showers on Sunday to dampen what was a rougher and physically harder terrain.

Roczen made the headlines on his world championship baptism after turning 15 years of age two weeks ago. The teenager started the weekend on a difficult foot after a start-straight crash in his qualification heat left him placed in the middle of the gate for Sunday's motos. He got off the line reasonably well in the first sprint and his effortless and smooth style totally masked his age and experience as he moved up the ranking to 9th, breaking the top ten at his first attempt. The second race was even better as a brighter getaway saw him maintain a steady rhythm against several GP winners and factory riders. 4th place at the finish line deservedly brought plaudits on the German's shoulders for the best debut performance seen in the MX2 category.

Xavier Boog (photo left above) rued a fall on Saturday that left him with some pain in his hand and both knees. The Frenchman registered a DNF in Moto1 as a consequence of running off the side of the finish line jump and catching green fencing in his rear wheel. The second race was better and he was strong in the second half of the 35 minute and 2 lap distance to rise from 11th to 7th; marking 12th place overall.

Kojima - the sole representative of Japan in the world championship - was back in action after being given the all-clear on a potential neck injury sustained after a crash at the GP of Benelux two weeks ago. He rode to 15th place in Moto1 and was then lucky to emerge from a high-speed aerial collision with another rider in the formative stages of Moto2 unharmed.

In the world championship standings Boog is currently 5th and 17 points from moving up another position. Roczen has gone straight into 21st while Kojima is 26th.

The Women's World Championship started up again in Portugal for round two of six and Larissa Papenmeier (photo right above), the fourth member of the team, was pleased to score her first podium result of the year with third position. The German was 2nd and 5th for her silverware and the second rostrum appearance for the squad this term.

All four representatives of Teka Suzuki Europe World MX2 will travel to Spain and the Grand Prix of Catalunya next week for the sixth round of the world championship and third test for the women.

Ken Roczen:

"This is unbelievable. Yesterday was pretty bad with my crash at the start but the rest of the weekend was just perfect for me. The track got better as it got rougher. I never thought I would be able to get a result like this the first time. I am very happy and I want to give a big thanks to my sponsors, Teka and all the team."

Xavier Boog:

"I had a crash in the pre-qualifying session and was a bit sore but nothing too bad. In the first moto I was pushed a little towards the outside of the jump but it was nothing unfair. The fence in my rear wheel cost me a lot of time and I could not restart, so that was very disappointing. The second moto was better but my start was not good."

Yohei Kojima:

"The first moto was not so bad, my riding was smooth and the speed was good. I recovered from an average start and reached the top fifteen for the first time, so that was another step. I had a crash at the start of the second moto and was 22nd but then one rider went outside the track on the jump and we hit. It was a big accident and I am happy that I could walk away with nothing broken."

Larissa Papenmeier:

"I am really happy with this third place because the first GP in Bulgaria did not go too well for me. My pace was good this weekend and I had a lot of fun on the track. I tried to push a bit too hard at the beginning of the motos but otherwise it was OK. I found that I could follow Steffy and Livia quite easily so I believe it is possible to run with them and hopefully make a harder race for the win."