FACTORY TEAM NEWS: Morgatto within touching distance of the European top five in OK
Already a strong performer in the Champions of the Future Euro Series two weeks earlier, Matheus Morgatto confirmed the progress of Birel ART in OK during the third round of the FIA Karting European Championship in Denmark. Very fast throughout the weekend, the Brazilian finished 6th in the Final, while the other two OK drivers followed the same positive path.
After the European meeting, the selectivity of the Danish circuit was no longer in doubt. At Rødby, it’s as easy to overtake as it is to be overtaken and there’s no room for error, which made for some incredibly competitive racing. However, Matheus Morgatto was able to take advantage of his Birel’s renewed competitiveness to cope with this particular situation and make up ground all the time. Starting 17th in Qualifying, he broke into the top 10 in 9th place in the heats and moved up five places in the Final to 6th. He has now climbed to 12th in the Championship thanks to a gain of nine places.
Joel Bergstrom had a more complex task after his modest 40th place in Qualifying. He showed his worth on Sunday by first regaining 10 positions in the Super Heat before finishing by climbing 12 places in the Final. In his second race with Birel ART, Martti Ritonen qualified in the Final, where he moved up seven places.
“We can congratulate ourselves on the work carried out by the team over the last few months,” said Riccardo Longhi, Team Manager Birel ART Racing. “The improvement was more noticeable in OK thanks to the talent of Matheus Morgatto, who was able to make the most of his equipment on a difficult circuit. We are delighted to see that Joel Bergstrom and Martti Ritonen were able to follow the same upward path to qualify and achieve encouraging results in the Final. Our efforts have also been focused on OK-Junior, but our young drivers still need to improve their consistency to turn their potential into good results. Gerasim Skulanov put up a good fight, but his Final did not reflect his real level of performance. Meryl Peldes, from the Richard Mille Young Talent Academy, qualified in 12th place. Despite several setbacks, Kit Belofsky showed excellent speed throughout the weekend. The overall trend remains very positive and we are more determined than ever not to slacken our efforts to conclude the season on a high note.”
There are two dates to remember in July, with the second and final round of the European KZ and KZ2 Championships at Sarno from 7th to 9th, followed by the final round of the European OK and OK-Junior Championships at Cremona from 28th to 30th.