Mercado secures 2021 WorldSBK seat with MIE Honda

Tuesday, 30 March 2021 08:10 GMT

Leandro ‘Tati’ Mercado will return to WorldSBK in 2021 with the MIE Racing Honda Team

The final rider to be confirmed for the 2021 MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship season has been announced with Argentinean rider Leandro ‘Tati’ Mercado set to race for the MIE Racing Honda Team in the 2021 campaign. The 2014 European Superstock 1000 Champion will return to the grid after competing with Motocorsa Racing as he switches to the CBR1000 RR-R for the new season.

Mercado brings a wealth of experience to MIE Racing Honda Team with 130 race starts to his name in WorldSBK as well as five seasons of European Superstock 1000 action, including his title-winning campaign. During his time in STK1000, Mercado claimed 12 podium finishes including six wins and while he has been unable to replicate that success in WorldSBK, he has shown his talent on many occasions with numerous top ten finishes since making his debut in WorldSBK in 2012.

Prior to joining MIE Racing Honda Team, Mercado competed for Motocorsa Racing in 2020 and, before that, had two seasons with Orelac Racing VerdNatura on the Kawasaki ZX-10RR between 2018 and 2019 as well as one year with IodaRacing. Linking up with the MIE Racing Honda Team means Mercado will have raced on Aprilia, Ducati, Kawasaki and Honda machinery throughout his WorldSBK career.

Discussing his move to the MIE Racing outfit, Mercado said: “I'm very glad to announce that I'm joining the MIE Racing Honda Team for the upcoming WorldSBK season. It's a new challenge for me and I will give it my all to achieve our goals. For the first time in my career, I will ride a Honda, an iconic brand. I’m looking forward to riding the CBR1000RR-R FIREBLADE at the Barcelona tests and to start working with the team. I want to say thank you to MIE Racing for putting its trust in me and to everyone that has helped make it happen."

Mercado will be on track for MIE Racing throughout the two-day test at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, giving him and the team their first opportunity to work together and build the relationship that will be crucial throughout the 2021 campaign. His experience should put him in good stead for the upcoming campaign as he brings the viewpoint from different teams and manufacturers.

MIE Racing Founder and Team Principal Midori Moriwaki added: “I am delighted to welcome Leandro Mercado as the 2021 rider for the MIE Racing Honda Team in the WorldSBK Championship. ‘Tati’ is a gutsy rider who never holds back on track and in the pit garage. He is combative, fast, and determined to never give up, all aspects that fit perfectly with the story and philosophy of the MIE Racing Honda Team. During his career, he has competed in different championships and with different machines, achieving success and courageously facing up to many challenges. I am convinced that, together, we can achieve positive results both in terms of our performance on the track and the development of the CBR1000RR-R FIREBLADE.”

Follow Mercado’s progress and more throughout 2021 using the WorldSBK VideoPass!