Rider’s health improves as he looks ahead to the rest of the season
Leandro 'Tati' Mercado (IODARacing)’s season has yet to begin in 2017, following a training accident one week before the opening round of the MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship. The IODARacing rider was forced to miss the first Round of the season at Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit and will also sit out of the second Round, in Thailand.
WorldSBK.com caught up with Mercado about his health before the championship heads to Europe:
"I'm getting better and my condition improves every day. It was bad luck as it happened the week before leaving for Phillip Island, but these things happen." Explaining what happened, Mercado said: "I went to turn my motocross bike, and it was on a simple track. I slipped and the bike fell over, which is why I broke three ribs and have a pneumothorax; I was unlucky. Now my lung, which was the thing that worried the most, is cured and for the ribs to heal it will just take time, I can’t do anything. Now I need to get back to full fitness, I have already started training and only have a bit of ‘annoyance’ from my injuries. At first I started with a little bit of cycling, and later I was able to also go to the gym.”
Mercado continued: "The doctors have given me at least three weeks for the ribs to heal, so I'll skip the Round in Thailand will start my season at Aragon. Racing in Thailand could be a risk, and even one sudden movement could lengthen the recovery period. The championship is long, so I need to be back in shape at Aragon and then make it through the season without any other breaks. "
Finally he added: "It has been a difficult period; after what happened last year in Superstock 1000 it was difficult to turn the page. The opportunity to return to the World Superbike class helped me, as I wanted to go back into the top class. I prepared well during the winter, I was in shape and very motivated, but before leaving for Australia I had the accident. Such is life, such is the sport, and everything needed to heal and be stronger. I'm working and I have a great desire to return, the team supports me constantly and I thank them for that. "
The Argentine will return to the track in the MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship for the first time in 2017 at the MotorLand Aragon round, from 31st March to 2nd April.