by JohnNicholas on 09/08/2009
Maico international’s Dunlop Maxima rider Neil Berry put his 320 Maico on the top step of the podium last weekend winning the Haan Wheels sponsored Benelux cup at the popular Den Dungen circuit in Holland.
With their attention focussed on development projects Berry and the team have been a little absent from the results sheets over the last couple of months, but signed off this years European race schedule in fine style on Saturday the 5th of September with a superb second place overall in the meeting, which, combined with previous results was enough to clinch the Benelux title.
A rather unpredictable weather forecast throughout the previous week had seen its fair share of rain on the Dutch circuit but the paddock awoke on Saturday morning to blue skies and warm sunshine, leaving everybody ready to race.
In a meeting dominated by big bore two strokes Berry’s hopes of a top five place were going to leave no room for error on his 320 but his encouraging lap times in practice put a smile on the faces of team bosses Vincent Page and Lesley White indicating that a podium place would be possible if everything went well.
As the gate dropped for the first of the 25 minute moto’s the plethora of 500’s squeezed Berry to the outside by the time they hit the first bend.On the exit of the bend Berry was faced with the unenviable task of chasing down three five hundreds from a Dutch team, who were in no mood move over for the 320 mounted Brit.Three laps into the race and his calculating attitude paid off as he moved up into third and set his sights on second using the various lines round the sandy circuit to make up more time on each lap. With only 2 laps to go he snatched second place from the jaws of another 500 and held his ground till the chequered flag was raised.
With all hopes of a podium place now resting on the second moto it was 500 mounted Jimmy Karl that emerged in front of the pack with the tenacious Brit being forced to the outside for the second time slotting into fifth place by the end of the first lap. Frantic calculations were being made in the Maico International camp as to whether 5th place was enough to put him on the podium and with the field now spreading out every point was going to be crucial. Midway through the race the tension mounted as he fought hard to take 4th finally pulling away to consolidate the position as the moto drew to a close.
Speaking in an interview after the meeting Berry said “This has been a fantastic meeting, at a superb venue which has provided some great racing and I am very pleased to have won the Benelux Cup it’s a great boost for Maico International. I would like to say special thanks to Dunlop tyres, Maxima oils West country windings and all our sponsors who have helped us this year, your support has been invaluable.
Later that evening we spoke to team bosses Vincent Page and Lesley White who told us, “Neil has only really been racing the 320 since April, yet his professionalism and passion for the brand is obvious and the results are now starting to show. Second place in the meeting is a great result and the Benelux cup just tops off what has been a superb day for the team”.