Heading into his third season back in WorldSBK, after narrowly missing out on the European Superstock 1000 title in 2016, Argentinean Leandro Mercado continues to compete with the Orelac Racing VerdNatura for 2019. ‘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 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 Raffaele 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. The Argentinean rider moved to WorldSBK team Orelac Racing VerdNatura in 2018 and was able to secure credible point scoring finishes.
For 2019 Mercado hopes to improve on board the Kawasaki ZX-10RR of the Spanish based team.
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