By Giles Spencer
Erith motorcycle racer, Casey O’Gorman finished fourth and third in the wet at Donington Park last weekend to keep his title hopes in the British Talent Cup, alive.
Qualifying was cancelled due to the weather on the Saturday morning O’Gorman would start the race from pole having set the fastest time in practice.
The rain clouds opened up over the Derbyshire circuit for Saturday’s race, testing the rider’s wet weather skills.
The schoolboy gets the holeshot but quickly drops back to fourth as the riders struggle to find the grip.
Charlie Farrer, Eddie O’Shea and Harvey Claridge pull clear from O’Gorman, leaving the teenager to fend off the chasing pack.
The treacherous conditions are catching the youngsters out and O’Gorman’s seemingly struggling with set-up and pace, peering over his screen to see where he’s going.
Mid race and the leaders are away up the road but O’Gorman is in a good rhythm, holding a safe fourth.
At the chequered flag, O’Gorman has pulled away from Franco Bourne to take a creditable fourth but finishes over 30 seconds behind winner, Claridge, to take 13 points.
Sunday’s race, reduced to 12 laps, was thankfully held in dry conditions with O’Gorman starting on the second row of the grid in fourth place.
O’Gorman made a great start climbing two places to second over the line for the first time of asking.
Lap 2 and Claridge crashes out of the lead at the Melbourne Loop promoting O’Gorman to the top spot.
Four laps in and the pack, headed by Farrer, has caught O’Gorman but the 13 year old holds on for another lap before being swamped by the pack and dropping back to third.
Half race distance and O’Gorman hits the front again setting the new lap record, although it’s now a five way battle for the win.
Riders are changing positions almost every corner and O’Gorman drops to fourth before quickly recovering to third and closing onto the back of the leaders.
Evan Belford and Farrer nearly come together allowing O’Gorman to slip by into the lead on the last lap and pull a gap, although Farrer and Belford manage to reel in and pass the youngster, holding him off to the line.
With a third place finish and 16 points, O’Gorman moves up to fourth in the championship, 27 points behind leader O’Shea and with 50 points up for grabs, the fight for the title is still wide open.
“Sunday morning was my first time in the wet. I missed the start of the session and had a small technical issue that the team fixed for the race. I just needed more time on the bike.” O’Gorman said.
“I couldn’t see (in the first race) because the screen kept misting up and I was happy with fourth place.
“In the second race I was still pushing in the lead (on the last lap). My plan was to lead on the last lap and when they came past I lined up a couple of moves but they blocked me.
“I’ve never ridden on the Brands GP circuit. The plan is to just try and win them all.”
The final round of the championship takes place on the Brands Hatch GP circuit in Kent on the 18-20th October.
Photos by Bonnie Lane
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