Johnny Johnson

Morgatto magnificent in Ocala

One driver on top nearly throughout the weekend in Junior ROK.

Matheus Morgatto
Morgatto likely the new Junior ROK championship leader heading into Orlando in four weeks. Photo: Kart360

The rising star under the new A.M. Engines - Parolin tent, Matheus Morgotta, had no equal on Sunday with a walk away victory in Junior ROK, and a great overall points weekend for the  championship.

Morgatto's only blemish on his report card was his first heat race, finishing second. After that it was four wins in a row, including the 28-lap final.

Arias Deukmedjian came in as hot as anyone and went steady through the heats, finally finishing 2nd, 2-seconds behind the Brazilian. It was right where he started, which had been his best stuff of the weekend.

Ugo Ugochukwu caught everyone by surprise in Palm Beach, but nobody overlooked the small stature of the young American last weekend. Once again, the Koene USA pilot put in solid results with a third place final and a great shot at the championship in Orlando.

Just off the podium was Jace Denmark Gessell and Connor Zilisch. Gessell saved his best for last and should be able to hold his head high with the fourth place result without seeing the Ocala circuit until Thursday.

Zilisch may have been the most impressive over everyone considering where we thought the rookie Junior driver may finish. Right away he had a front row qualifying run next to Morgatto, with only a small sampling of runs in a full size kart. Remember, Zilisch had just won in Palm Beach as a Mini competitor, and here he was out qualifying 29 other karts in his first Junior ROK weekend. After a pair of heat wins on Saturday, Zilisch was still Morgatto's main threat going into Sunday. A disappointing result in the pre final saw the North Carolinian drop to tenth, but rebound to a top five which — given this field — is insanely impressive.

Tyler Gonzalez has not had quite the start to the season as he did last year. The SCR driver grabbed a heat race win right off the bat, but that mark was never reached again, finishing the weekend with a mechanical very early in the final.

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