BOS could not have asked for better promotion ahead of their maiden season in the FIM Motocross World Championship, as a high-profile dispute with Benoit Paturel has caused them to dominate headlines. Olivier Bossard, the head man at BOS, was kind enough to chat to us for an exclusive interview about that, as well as their programme with Jordi Tixier and how close they came to signing Evgeny Bobryshev.
MX Vice: Stepping straight into the MXGP class was a big step for BOS GP. Was it always the plan to have a team eventually or did things just fit into place perfectly, seeing as Jordi Tixier needed a ride?
Olivier Bossard: It was a combination of everything, in fact. Jordi [Tixier] has always been a true believer in our products and both of us wanted to work together. With the lack of proposals that he had this summer, the moment was perfect to step up together. The kid needed material that he trusted in and we needed a top athlete who believed in us, so it was time to make something happen.
BOS Suspension have been running world-class teams in the past in sports such as auto, mountain-bike and downhill. We don't really have a lack of experience. We are also very active in the Toyota team that is competing (and winning) in WRC ,so you can imagine that the budgets and structure are much different. We are not afraid of the challenge, so BOS GP was born.
KTM will be the team's bike of choice this year, but I understand that there'll be no support from the factory? If so, how do you feel about all of that?
It is not really true. The 450F engine and chassis we use today is mainly the choice of Jordi. In fact, BOS GP does not really care about the brand. We are only focused on suspension, engineering and preparation around it. Bikes are very equal today and maybe we will run another bike with another rider? We want to be free and have the best bike ever with suspension, engine, weight, strength etc. KTM is a great company that we do respect, but it is impossible for them to help a team running suspension that they do not sell. It is logic, so we did not even ask for help. We are also conscious that we have everything to prove…
The team released a statement about Benoit Paturel yesterday. What is the situation there? How much time did he actually spend on the bike? Was he ever willing to co-operate with the team?
Benoit signed a one-year contract with us and we were pumped about it. We really think that this rider deserves a team and a salary. But, after a week of testing on a standard bike, everything became more complicated. It is sad for us, the mechanics and the sponsors because he did not even try the race bike. We do not want to lose our focus on the first MXGP round though, so we'll find a solution to sort this out.
Based on your statement, it seems that the partnership with Benoit is going to end. Is that one hundred percent or is there a chance that these issues can be sorted out?
Honestly, I do not think he wants this…
Evgeny Bobryshev mentioned that he came very close to signing a deal with the team, but there was a certain issue that he could not sort out. What was the issue? How close did you come to doing the deal?
Meeting Bobby was great. The work we did in one day was very good and it seems that he liked our material. It was very close, but it did not happen. The idea and the construction of the team came late, so it was not too comfortable to do negotiations in a hurry. I think that was the main reason, sadly.
A rumour was going around at the weekend that Bobryshev could still end up at BOS this season, especially with everything that has happened with Paturel. Is there any truth to this? Would you look for a replacement for Benoit?
We have two riders signed for this year and we have to stick to this. If one rider is going away, then Bobby will be the first rider that we will call for sure. We like him a lot.
What are the plans for the team moving forward? Is the plan to grow this into a GP-winning team or just continue to publicise BOS on the world stage?
If we do win, I think the publicity will be good for sure ! We have to be realistic though. Tixier has never won a MXGP and neither have we. The idea is to prove that our material is one of the best, to meet our international distributors, find new ones and maybe settle deals with other teams for the next seasons.
Interview: Lewis Phillips | Lead Image: Yamaha Racing