Team Pedercini Kawasaki's Leandro Mercado has been ruled out of the opening round of the World Superbike Championship at Phillip Island on February 26.

'Tati' Mercado (19) suffered a fracture of the right radius after a crash on his supermoto bike during a training session last week in Argentina.

He underwent an operation on Monday to speed up his rehabilitation and intends to return to action at the second round at Imola, Italy, on April 1.

Mercado will be replaced Aussie Bryan Staring at Phillip Island. Staring rode for the Italian team as a wild card at the circuit last year, finishing 15th and 17th.

"I'm really disappointed because I won't be able to participate at the Phillip Island races as it could be my Superbike debut," said Mercado.

"I was eager to compete in Australia hoping to obtain good results. I know the whole team worked extremely hard to prepare my bike for the first appointment of the season and now I'm forced to miss out on the race.

"Starting from next week, with the help of my doctors, I'll start intensive rehabilitation to make sure that I'll be in top condition for the second race in Imola".


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