Leandro 'Tati' Mercado is confident that he will be fit to make his World Superbike debut at Imola on 1st April after a successful test at Aragon last weekend. The Team Pedercini rider missed the opening round at Phillip Island after fracturing his right radius in a training accident and the test was an opportunity to discover his current state of fitness.
Mercado completed over 100 laps on his Kawasaki ZX-10R and felt reasonably happy with the state of his wrist, giving him belief that he can race at Imola.
“After the crash in Argentina on my supermoto bike and a surgical operation, I’ve been doing a lot of physiotherapy in order to get back into shape as quickly as possible and in time for Imola. I’m not sure that my wrist will be 100% by the Imola race weekend, but I’m confident I’ll be ready for the races. The whole Aragon test has been great for me. It was very important to work with my team and return on board my Kawasaki motorbike after four months. I'm very happy because I find immediately good feeling with the bike and the team. Of course there is still lots to be done, but the outcome is already very good. I'm really looking forward to my first Superbike race in Imola and I hope to start the 2012 Superbike championship in the best possible way”.
Teammate David Salom is also nursing an injury and only completed seven laps but Team Owner Donato Pedercini doesn't expect him to miss the Imola weekend. He also felt happy with Mercado's fitness on his return.
“I'm happy because the tests went well. We didn't have any notable problems and the test gave us a very good feeling. Despite low temperatures and a strong wind we did a very good job with Mercado and we have improved the bike quite a bit, the whole package. Tati continued the job of gathering experience on board the Kawasaki ZX-10R Superbike machine. Over the two days his feeling with the bike has gradually improved and he was able to score some very fast lap times, very close to the fastest riders. Salom finished only seven laps in the second day. He want only to test his wrist after the surgical operation. He's not feeling pain and it seems he'll be able to race in Imola. David tested the new electronic, collecting some important data that we'll use in Imola”.