South American vibes: Mercado and Scheib preview 2020 title fight

Friday, 24 January 2020 09:30 GMT

Fresh from Jerez testing, the Argentine rider speaks about his ambitions whilst Scheib emphasises his pride of representing Chile on the WorldSBK stage…

There is a carnival in WorldSBK in 2020 as two South American riders will be lining up on the grid for the full 2020 MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship. 2014 FIM European Superstock 1000 Cup Winner Leandro Mercado (Motocorsa Racing) and rookie Maximilian Scheib (ORELAC Racing VERDNATURA) will be representing Argentina and Chile respectively throughout the season. Both riders got their first taste of their new machines for the season at the Jerez test, with positivity and optimism shining through.

Mercado featured inside the top ten on occasion, showing that the Ducati Panigale V4 R in the hands of the new Italian squad has plenty of potential. Featuring a Termignoni exhaust system, the Motocorsa Racing Ducati is a little different to how other Ducatis run, which will be a fascinating feature throughout 2020, to see if this helps or hinders their progress to the top.

Speaking about the 2020 season, Mercado stated: “I am looking forward to getting on the bike and starting to work with the whole team. It will be a very important test to understand many things, the right feeling with the bike and create a nice team. The aim is to do many kilometres on the bike and to create a nice base setting as a starting point.

“I know that all the guys worked hard during the winter to be ready to go. I also worked a lot in Argentina, and I feel very good, very motivated. I want to thank everyone for the work done in winter and all the sponsors who have allowed me once again to be able to participate in the Championship.”

For 24-year-old Max Scheib, the main target is to get back up to speed on a WorldSBK-spec bike, whilst also getting to grips with Kawasaki ZX-10RR power. A wet track certainly didn’t help but Scheib will be happy to have experienced his first wet weather in WorldSBK before a full round.

“I am really happy to come back to the WorldSBK paddock,” began Scheib, formerly competing for two rounds with MV Agusta squad two seasons ago. “It is amazing to be back and to be representing my country. Also, Latin America, as there are a lot of people who follow me, and they are really happy about this good news. I want to do my best in all the season. For me, the goal is to be in the top ten.”

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