Mixed Feelings after rainy reace in Halle.

March 29 Team HNHF travelled to the east of the Netherlands for the second round of the Open Dutch Championship in Halle. Unfortunately young Spaniard Sergi Notario would not start this weekend due to illness. The difficult conditions of the track, especially caused by the rain of the preceding days and the raceday itself, led to the cancellation of the second race in all classes. The result of the first race would have to do for the two MX2 riders.
Sergi was very disappointed that he could not race this weekend. However, after consulting with the team and his doctors, he decided to skip this race and heal up. The weekend of April 18 and 19, the first round of the European Championship will take place in Arco di Trento, Italy. The team decided to prioritize this race and ensure Notario wouldbe ready to go when the gate drops there in three weeks’ time, even if that meant not racing at the round of the Open Dutch Championship.

Magne Klingsheim has had a streak of bad luck in the first few races this year. Small problems due to crashes and bad starts have kept him from finishing where he should in international and Dutch national races. This Sunday started off a little better. Sand tracks and poor weather conditions associated with the Dutch soil still represent a learning opportunity for the Norwegian. Nonetheless he managed to set a tenth position in time practice on Sunday morning. The race took off with a solid start in third position. Unfortunately the holeshot device on his bike would not come off, so he had to stop and take it off himself, which led him to be passed by several riders. Once again Magne had to start further back, in sixteenth position. A lap later he was already in thirteenth, but it wasn’t long until he was forced to take off his goggles because of the large amount of mud on the track. However, he continued to put his head down and passed rider after rider until he was in eighth position, in which he crossed the finish line. This would be all for the day, as the second heat was cancelled. His eighth position was enough for him to maintain his ninth position in the championship.

"I had a good start, I was out in front. Some problems on the first lap; I was almost last. My riding was good, I came from way back and ended up eighth in the race. The bike is good and I want to thank the whole team for all the help."

Magne Klingsheim

Lars van Berkel felt he had something to prove here in Halle. He went out onto the track in training and set the fastest lap time. He then went on to take the holeshot in the first race, with Jacobi, Graulus and Pootjes in a respective second, third and fourth place right behind him. The pressure of riding in front was slightly overwhelming for the Dutchman and arm pump problems started to play its parts. It wasn’t long until Graulus and Pootjes had passed Jacobi, followed by the pass on van Berkel by both riders. He too would have to take off his goggles about halfway through the race, while still in third position. His times started to drop but he did his best to maintain his third position. He did so until the last lap, but was then blocked by a lapped rider.

Jacobi and Nijenhuis managed to take advantage of this setback for van Berkel and both passed him. This meant a disappointing fifth position for the Dutchman, who was then looking to retaliate in the second race. Unfortunately he did not get the opportunity to do so, as the second race was cancelled due to the bad conditions of the track. Despite this performance not being as he had hoped, he still moved up two positions in the championship, leaving him in third place, a mere two points behind Aleksandr Tonkov.

"Of course it’s a shame because especially the last lap gives you such an unpleasant feeling. When I was out in front, I lost my rhythm and started to make mistakes; then it’s hard to regroup on such a muddy track. Still I set the fastest time in the morning and I was leading for a few laps. Those are positives and that’s what we’re going to build on!"

Lars van Berkel

Results:

MX2 Race 1:
1. Davy Pootjes
2. Damon Graulus
3. Henry Jacobi
4. Luca Nijenhuis
5. Lars Van Berkel
8. Magne Klingsheim
...

MX2 Overall:
1. Davy Pootjes 25
2. Damon Graulus 22
3. Henry Jacobi 20
4. Luca Nijenhuis 18
5. Lars Van Berkel 16
8. Magne Klingsheim 13
...

MX2 Championship Standings:
1. Davy Pootjes 53
2. Aleksandr Tonkov 50
3. Lars van Berkel 48
4. Brent van Doninck 44
5. Henry Jacobi 42
9. Magne Klingsheim 34
...

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