Podium in Portugal eludes O’Gorman despite blistering pace in ETC opener


Erith teenager Casey O’Gorman didn’t have the weekend he’d hoped for with a fourth place and a crash in the European Talent Cup in Estoril last weekend.

Taking a break from his normal ride in the Red Bull Rookies MotoGP Cup, the 14 year old crossed over from Jerez in Spain to Estoril in Portugal for the opening round of the Hawkers European Talent Cup.

Setting a blistering pace to go second fastest and 1.2 seconds under the lap record in the first of the Saturday qualifying sessions, with soaring temperatures, O’Gorman stayed where he was in the second to finish 0.165 seconds off pole.

A weight infringement penalty received after qualifying dropped the youngster to 14th on the grid for the start of the Sunday’s first race.

Off the line for the first race on Sunday, O’Gorman, riding for the Michael Laverty Vision Track Academy team, made a good start from a long way back to sit in ninth after one lap of sixteen.

Four laps down and with leader Joel Estaban eight seconds down the road, O’Gorman survived a scare after coming in contact with another rider mid-corner to take third place but with a seven way scrap for the remaining podium places, this was far from a foregone conclusion.

Entering the last lap of a crash-strewn race, the young Irishman dropped from second to fifth as a gaggle of riders slipstreamed him down the front straight and despite his best efforts could only pull one place back for fourth at the flag.

Race two and with 31 degree air and 43 degree track temperature, the riders would have to endure the hottest time of the weekend with grip levels dropping off as the track became greasy.

O’Gorman launched his NSF250R Honda perfectly to jump up to seventh off the line, improving to second by the end of the second lap.

Barely a lap later and disaster struck as O’Gorman crashed out, losing the front on the brakes whilst closing down the leader, Estaban.

O’Gorman sits seventh in the championship on 13 points after one round.

The championship moves to the Circuit Ricardo Tormo in Spain for the next round on the 22nd May.

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