Lars Van Berkel was drafted in to the Argentinian motocross World Championship round to replace his injured team mate Micael Ivanov. While Van Berkel placed 25th out of 39 entrants in the MX2 class he failed to score points.
Although Lars had proven to be on-form in his pre-season races he found it tough to get into the groove of things on Saturday. Switching to Ivanov’s race bike and coming to the terms with the track were his main challenges. Described as sandy by some the circuit was covered with a loose surface while the hard-pack foundation and layout made it fast and not so technical.
Van Berkel’s uncharacteristically tentative timed practice session resulted in the 30th time. Handicapped by his bad gate pick the Vamo Honda rider made the best of the situation and bounced back to 24th in the qualifying race.
The scenic Neuquen track near Villa la Angostura was a sight to be seen on race day. In front of a busy and passionate crowd the 23-year old Dutchman was determined to make the best of his opportunity. Starting from the far outside Van Berkel rode his Honda CRF250R to a decent start. Lars managed to make headway and challenged for a points-scoring position after three laps. Frustratingly Van Berkel made up ground on the technical sections while losing terrain on the fastest sections of the course. By the end of the 30 minute plus two laps affair he crossed the line 25th.
The second moto went very similar to the first one. Another solid start launched the No Fear Energy athlete in a position to mount a top-20 challenge. Even though Lars continued his push until the checkered flag he had to settle for 23rd in the end. Van Berkel and the Vamo Honda team are now looking forward to getting back to Europe for the much anticipated opening round of the Dutch Masters of Motocross next weekend in Oss.