BY GILES SPENCER
Erith motorcycle racer, Casey O’Gorman scored his first podium finish of the season in the rain at Mugello in Italy for round four of the Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup last weekend.
The 15 year old was hoping for better results than of late in the weekend’s two races after qualifying his 250cc KTM down in tenth place on the grid in the Italian sun.
Saturday’s race couldn’t have been held in more different conditions as the skies opened up, flooding the track causing a delay to the start.
When the lights finally went out, O’Gorman stormed off the line to slot into fifth place by the end of the first lap of 13.
Two laps down and leader Quiles fell foul to the conditions promoting O’Gorman to fourth before moving into a podium position a lap later when Rico Salmela took a trip over the handlebars as all the riders tested the limits of adhesion.
Eight laps to go and local hero Guido Pini passed O’Gorman followed by Jacob Rosenthaler as the trio tried to chase down Cormac Buchanan in second some five seconds down the road.
With the gap shrinking to second, Buchanan pushed too hard and became yet another victim of the conditions putting O’Gorman in a three way scrap for the remaining podium spots with leader Alberto Ferrandez 20 seconds ahead.
Last lap and not one of the trio wanted to give up a podium place but that choice was taken out of their hands as Pini hit the gas too hard, sending the back end around before rocketing him over the bars, wiping out Rosenthaler, promoting O’Gorman to a well deserved second place finish 31 seconds ahead of Marco Morelli in third.
Sunday’s race took place in bright, sunny conditions though overnight rain had left damp patches giving the riders something to be mindful of.
Lights out and O’Gorman couldn’t quite repeat Saturday’s start but did enough to move up to seventh by the end of the first lap.
Three laps in and with the whole pack still together, swapping places every corner, it was pointless counting what position your rider was in.
The damp patches had knocked three seconds off the lap pace but closing the pack up had created some great racing whilst the riders figured out how hard you could push it.
Seven laps to go and exiting turn eleven, O’Gorman lost the rear with the bike spitting him over the top, taking down Buchanan with him and ending any dreams of a double podium finish.
Quiles took the win just ahead of Angel Piqueras who stretched his lead to 178 points with O’Gorman in 8th on 61.
“I’m really happy to be here because I’ve had not so much luck with the podiums this year,” said O’Gorman after finishing second on the Saturday, “I got a bit lucky on the last lap with people crashing in front of me but I’m going to take it because I haven’t had any luck all year and if I can get it I’ll take it.”
The next round takes place in Assen on the 24-25th June.
Photos: Red Bull Rookies
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