Leandro Mercado and MIE Racing Honda Team will miss a “limited number of events” in 2021 in order to develop their CBR1000 RR-R
After a delayed start to their 2021 MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship campaign, which included a call up for Argentinean rider Leandro Mercado on the eve of the Supported Test at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, the MIE Racing Honda Team have decided to start a testing programme that will force them to miss a small number of events throughout 2021.
After riding the bike for the first time at the two-day Catalunya test, Mercado was 3.5seconds off the pace of the quickest rider on the second day of action while the gap at MotorLand Aragon in the combined timesheets for all three practice sessions was 3.6s. Mercado was able to bring home his Honda machine in 18th place in two of the three races at the Pirelli Aragon Round, with the Argentinean retiring from Race 1.
Following this, it was announced that the team would miss a “limited number of events” so they could work on improving the bike for Mercado, to move the team further up the competitive order, using an intensive testing programme. Riders are allowed up to ten days of private testing, not including the Supported Test, while Mercado has not been present at private test days so far in 2021.
Team Principal Midori Moriwaki said: “Starting with the Aragon round we have embarked upon a bike development path that will see us undertake a series of tests over the coming weeks. In doing so, we believe we will be able to compete at a much higher level than we saw last weekend throughout the rest of the season. The decision to miss a limited number of events was not easy, but we think this is the right way to step up a level this year, now that the issues and challenges caused by the pandemic are finally starting to be resolved. Now is the time to push hard to exploit the potential of the fantastic teamwork of the MIE Racing Honda Team, our bike and our rider Tati Mercado, so to achieve much better results over the season.”
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