Heading into his second season back in WorldSBK, after narrowly missing out on the European Superstock 1000 title in 2016, Argentiean Leandro Mercado is not short of experience. ‘Tati’ began his racing career in the 2008 Red Bull AMA US Rookies Cup, and was quickly able to progress to be crowned AMA Supersport Champion in 2009. Breaking across to Europe, Mercado then moved into the Italian Superstock Championships.
Spending a season in the STK600 Championship and the Superstock 1000 Championship respectively, he made steady progress and secured top seven finishes in both classes. In 2013 the now experienced South American competed in the Italian Superbike CIV Championship, alongside the STK1000 Cup and was fighting up front in both classes. He became a permanent rider in the STK1000 Cup for 2014 and took the title that season with Ducati. In 2015 he was promoted to the WorldSBK, Mercado finished the season in eighth position overall as he was able to take some solid top ten finishes.
Moving back to the STK1000 Cup in 2016 the 24 year old faced a tough season and some strong battles with Raffale De Rosa, but ultimately lost out on his second title in the class as he suffered from mechanical issues at the final round in Jerez. He brought a wealth of experience to IODARacing in 2017, and he was often the fastest Aprilia rider in the season, but it was a tough return at times for Mercado. He now makes the move to new WorldSBK team Oreclac Racing VerdNatura, and armed with the Kawasaki ZX-10RR he will hope to make a big impression.