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Derbi achieve best 125cc season start in eight years

Derbi achieve best 125cc season start in eight years

The success of 125cc riders on Derbi machinery in China marked the best start to a campaign in eight years for the Spanish brand.

With three Derbi bikes in the top six in the 125cc Shanghai contest and Joan Olive sitting second in the general standings the Spanish firm are enjoying one of their best seasons since their return to the World Championship ten years ago.

The Martorelles (Barcelona) based company saw both their factory Belson Derbi riders in elevated positions at round four, with 16 year-old Pol Espargaro crossing the line fourth and Olive following him home in sixth - and additional Derbi-equipped Ajo Motorsport rider Mike di Meglio ahead of them in second - to record the firm´s best 125cc race result in eight years.

The last time two Derbi riders finished a race in the top five was in 2000 at Phillip Island with Youichi Ui in second place and Manuel Poggiali fifth. Derbi have had race victories since then courtesy of Ui, Jorge Lorenzo and Lukas Pesek, but never with a team-mate finishing towards the front in the same race.

Four races into the current campaign and Olive is looking like a possible title candidate in second position in the championship, with two podiums to his name and just a nine point deficit to standings leader Simone Corsi.

Espargaro is adapting step-by-step to the Derbi RSA 125 and his performance to finish fourth in the Shanghai rain was an improvement on previous results thus far in 2008 and left him ninth in the general classification on 26 points ahead of the visit to Le Mans later this month.

On returning to Europe from China both Belson Derbi riders visited the Moto Oh! motorshow in Barcelona as the firm unveiled their range of new bikes, including the new Derbi GPR 50 Race Replica, which carries the 125cc team´s race colours and is a smaller road version of the GP machinery used by Espargaro and Olive.

125cc, 2008, Belson Derbi

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