Pedercini Kawasaki has signed Leandro Mercado and David Salom to contest this year's World Superbike Championship.

Mercado rode for the Italian team in the FIM Superstock 1000 class in 2011, while Spaniard Salom - who impressed on his way to the runner-up spot in the World Supersport Championship last season on the Kawasaki - previously rode for Team Pedercini in WSBK 2009, albeit with only minor success.

"I'm very happy to say that I will join the Pedercini team for the 2012 World Superbike Championship," Salom said. "I know all the Pedercini team and they are professional, enthusiastic and ambitious.

"I want to thank the Pedercini family as they are giving me the opportunity to compete once again in the World Superbike category. I'm really looking forward to this new adventure, as staying on a Kawasaki motorcycle was very important to me.

"I know that, compared with 2009, the bike is now more competitive and the team also has more experience so I can't wait to get started."

Mercado has long harboured an ambition to break into the World Superbike class and is indebted to the Perdercini team for granting him the opportunity to make his mark in the elite championship.

He finished 15th overall in the Superstock 1000 series in 2011, with the Argentine's best result of fifth place achieved at Silverstone.

"I am really happy to have made this choice and proud to be competing with Team Pedercini in World Superbikes," he said. "Right from the start of my career, I always considered Superbike to be the premier class and my main goal.

"I am honoured to remain a part of this fantastic group of people and to be joining them as part of an ambitious project. I'm also very happy to have David Salom as a team-mate.

"I know he's an expert rider and I'm sure he'll help me as I start this new adventure in such a difficult world championship."

Team owner Donato Pedercini added: "I'm extremely satisfied with the agreement reached with David Salom and Tati Mercado and I'm very happy to have the possibility to work with them again during 2012.

"I know both of them very well and I appreciate their riding qualities and determination. Mercado is young and talented. He's full of enthusiasm and has a real passion for racing. I think he'll be the youngest Superbike rider this year and we will do our best to help him to adapt to our Kawasaki Superbike.

"Salom is still young but already has some experience. He's strongly motivated and is on our wavelength in terms of projects and targets."

Both riders will test at Phillip Island in Australia from February 13-15 and again at the same venue on February 20-21 ahead of the opening round of the championship on February 26.

Last season, Pedercini Kawasaki's Mark Aitchison qualified for Superpole on several occasions and twice finished inside the top ten, while Roberto Rolfo finished 18th overall in the points standings, one place ahead of Aitchison.