BY GILES SPENCER
Erith schoolboy motorcycle star, Casey O’Gorman finally got the break to show what he’s capable of this season with a third and fourth in two sensational races in round five of the Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup at Assen in Holland last weekend.
The 15 year old started the weekend well qualifying his KTM RC250R on the second row in fifth place with a 1:45.776 lap, 0.783 behind pole man and championship leader Angel Piqueras.
Lights out for race one and O’Gorman got a strong start for the first lap of 15 but so did all the other riders as they found their speed in the first time the Red Bull Rookies had visited Assen since 2019.
A break-away group of seven headed the field with O’Gorman sitting comfortably in the middle but as is the way in the Rookies’ the group can quickly grow to 15 in the blink of an eye.
Mid race and any tactics weren’t going to plan as O’Gorman dropped back to ninth in the swarming group of KTM’s.
Entering the final lap O’Gorman swooped into third from sixth, looking hungry for the win.
With devastating corner speed, O’Gorman dispatched Alvaro Carpe to move into second but was carrying so much speed he had to sit up to avoid running into the rear of leader Piqueras as the Spaniard went defensive into the last corner, allowing Carpe to re-pass him before the flag leaving the youngster the final step on the podium for third.
Wanting to go two places higher in Sunday’s race, O’Gorman didn’t get the best start dropping a spot to sixth by the end of the first lap in scorching 31 degree temperatures.
Three laps down and O’Gorman was sitting seventh at the tail end of a break away group battling for the win.
By mid race the seven had become eleven and with the slipstream opportunities afforded by the Dutch circuit you wouldn’t put your money on who was going to win until the final corner.
Two laps to go and the top four had broken away and with O’Gorman in seventh it looked like any chance to fight for the win was all but over but those thoughts don’t exist in the young rider’s minds and exiting the final chicane to start the last lap they’re all back together and desperate for the win.
Half way through the lap and O’Gorman was still in seventh and in a carbon copy of Saturday’s race the teenager carried impressive speed through the final sector to slice through the pack to drag to the line for a hard fought fourth place, only 0.161 seconds off the winner and new champion, Piqueras.
O’Gorman’s results have moved him up to seventh in the championship on 90 points, only 27 points behind second place Alvaro Carpe and with 100 points up for grabs in the remaining two rounds, the runner-up spot is still a real possibility.
“It was one of the hardest races I’ve done,” said O’Gorman after race one, “In turn five, onto the back straight I was losing so much out there and I was getting passed every lap down the straight and then in lap five I dropped to twelfth of something, then Morelli crashed in front of me and the group got away by one second and I had to catch them and was for sure the hardest race of my life.
“In the second to last lap I came into the last sector like in seventh or something and passed three people and the last lap I stayed in third but someone passed me then (Guido) Pini crashed and I gained one more position and I tried to overtake Piqueras in the last corner but he was so defensive I couldn’t do nothing.”
The next round will take place at the Red Bull Ring in Spielberg, Austria on the weekend of the 19-20 August.
Photos:Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup
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