‘Tati’ recovers from Race 1 mistake with confident Sunday performance
Leandro Mercado (Orelac Racing Verdnatura) finished Race 2 at the WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca in eleventh position, a promising result after a couple of uneven rounds. Crashing out on Saturday, Mercado remained composed in the second fixture, keeping Roman Ramos (Team GoEleven Kawasaki) back and scoring five vital points for his season goals.
The change to Kawasaki machinery has not been easy for the Argentinian. Last year Mercado was a regular top-10 finisher, something that he has only managed three times in 2018 across eight rounds. This year was always going to be challenging, with the Orelac Racing team making the jump up to WorldSBK for the first time, and every round Mercado and his team are gathering new information and making small steps towards their aim to be the best privateer team on the grid.
Mercado was ultimately pleased with the weekend’s conclusion: “Race 1 was strange for us, because I was missing feeling at the front. I made some mistakes, I ran off the track because I was losing too much grip at the front. And then trying to catch the front, I crashed at the Corkscrew. Today the feeling was better”.
“We need to improve rear grip, acceleration out of the corner”, he adds. “But it was good to finish the race. We need to improve little things, we’re not too far from the top-10”.
Mercado fell to fifth in the Independent Riders standings after his Race 1 crash, but also cut back five points from Michael Ruben Rinaldi (Aruba.it Racing – Junior Team) in third, with the Italian now just seven points away.
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