Leandro ‘Tati’ Mercado believes he and his Motocorsa Racing outfit can fight in WorldSBK after securing his best finish of the season at Portimao
Race 2 from the Motul Portuguese Round provided thrills and spills up and down the MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship grid allowing some riders to secure their best result of the 2020 season. Leandro ‘Tati’ Mercado (Motocorsa Racing) was one of these as he secured a top 10 position at the Autodromo Internacional do Algarve.
Argentine Mercado was competing in his second Round of the 2020 season, joining the grid at the Pirelli Spanish Round where he picked up a best result of 15th in Race 2, before improving his results in each race across the Portuguese Round: a 16th placed finish in Race was followed up on Sunday by 14th in the Tissot Superpole Race and 10th in Race 2; his first top 10 finish since his home race in San Juan in October 2019.
Reacting to the weekend, Mercado said: “The Round was a little bit difficult; we worked very hard with the team. We tried a different set up with the bike and I still had to adapt. It’s my second race with the team so we need time. Today, we went back to the setup we used in Race 1 at Jerez and I felt a little bit better. We need to improve the rear grip and of course we need to do a better qualifying.
“We started right at the back and it’s difficult to fight for prizes when you start at the back. I think the pace is better than our result, we can be in the mid-group now. We have to keep working and I think the next round will be better for us, for the track and for my riding style so I’m looking forward to it.”
The continual improvement Mercado and Motocorsa Racing have shown so far in their two 2020 Rounds will give confidence as they look to push forward. The short turnaround time between Jerez and Portimao was always going to make things difficult up and down the paddock but the two-week break between Portimao and the MotorLand Aragon double-header means there is plenty of time to make adjustments for both rider and team.
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