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Rodriguez looking for second bite of the GP cherry

Rodriguez looking for second bite of the GP cherry

Rodriguez looking for second bite of the GP cherry

Angel Rodríguez could be offered another chance at Grand Prix glory with the factory Derbi squad which recently parted company with Emilio Alzamora. Rodríguez seemed sure to be another one of the teenage collective destined for glory when he burst onto the World Championship scene along with the likes of Dani Pedrosa and Toni Elias in 2001. However, a controversial dispute with his then Aspar team and subsequent separation saw the 18 year old disappear off the Grand Prix map.

An 18th place finish in the 250cc race as a wildcard at Valencia in 2002 seemed to signify the end of his hopes, but after overcoming personal problems he was thrown a lifeline this season by the Derbi racing team with whom he collected a brace of seventh positions in the CEV Spanish Championship. Now he is set for a Grand Prix return with what he hopes with be a second chance at the top level, this time with Derbi.

"Usually the train only goes by once but for me it has come around a second time and I want to make the most of it," he explained. "This is a great team, a winning team and I want to be a part of it. I want to show people the real Angel Rodriguez and I want to be up there fighting for wins and for the World Championship.

"I have had a good year being a part of this set-up and it is exciting to see Lorenzo showing the potential of the bike when he is fighting for the lead at the GPs. It is good to have a team-mate who is very fast as they can really help you out and I think I can help him too. The team have shown that they look after their riders, which wasn't the case for me with Aspar. The Derbi machine feels better than the Aprilia and fits my physique much better."

Staying at home and keeping competitive with his outings in the CEV was not a bad option for the Spaniard. "The CEV is a good series and it is possible to learn a lot because the level is high. There are a lot of fast riders, regulars from the GPs who come to compete."

Rodriguez's best GP finish was a 6th position at Jerez in 2001 and if he claims his Derbi spurs for 2004, as expected, then there is a good chance another young Spanish rider will be making a name for himself on the ultra-competitive 125cc stage.

125cc, 2003

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