BY GILES SPENCER
Erith motorcycle race Casey O’Gorman couldn’t repeat his recent results in the Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup in the final round at Valencia last weekend, crashing out of the lead of the final race.
The 15 year old schoolboy had barely finished the final round of the Hawkers European Talent Cup before he was back at Valencia and back at the front as he ended free practice third quickest overall before going one better in qualifying to get pipped to pole by Angel Piqueras to the tune of 0.027 seconds.
Starting off for the first of the weekend’s two races in sunny 22 degree weather, O’Gorman lost a spot to cross the line for the first lap of 17 in third but biting on the heels of the leaders Piqueras and Max Quiles.
A lap later and O’Gorman inherited second as Piqueras took the first of two long lap penalties handed to him in an incident in free practice.
Five laps in and Piqueras rejoined the battle for the win but took his second penalty lap leaving O’Gorman as the new race leader.
With eleven laps still to go O’Gorman tried to make the break from the pack taking Quiles with him and opening up a gap of nearly half a second in a lap.
Three laps later and Piqueras had latched onto the top two headed by O’Gorman but the trio had slightly gapped the chasing pack.
With a few laps to go the pace hotted up with the chasing pack well and truly in the hunt swarming O’Gorman who dropped to fourth at one point before climbing back to second with two laps to go, refusing to let the win go.
Last lap and O’Gorman was muscled back to fifth as the pack slipstreamed the youngster down the front straight and despite fighting for the win all the way to the flag, couldn’t make any more places up in a crazy eight rider dash to the line finishing 0.360 seconds behind winner Italian, Luca Lunetta.
The next day and the final 17 lap race of the season saw O’Gorman hold his position to end the first lap in second with a quartet already breaking free from the following pack.
Two laps down and O’Gorman hit the front for the first time but in the Rookies Cup it is proven that nothing is certain until you cross the line for the final time.
Twelve laps to go and as O’Gorman tried to put the hammer down he outbraked himself into turn two dropping into the pack but took less than a lap to catch the leaders again.
As with the previous race the top three soon became a leading nine but O’Gorman was consistently at the sharp end.
Looking like he had the pace to pull away O’Gorman hit the front again with seven laps to go only for disaster to strike as he lost the front in a fast left hander as the tyre slid out and despite holding it on his knee and elbow for what seemed like forever, had to succumb in the end, dumping it in the gravel to end his race and season.
With the race being won by Quiles the championship went the way of Spaniard Marcus Rueda on 224 points with O’Gorman finishing in 8th on 109.
It was not all bad news for O’Gorman though as he has been invited back to compete in the Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup again in 2023.
Photos: Red Bull Content Pool
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