Leandro 'Tati' Mercado returns to the satellite Pedercini Kawasaki team for the second round of the World Superbike Championship this weekend after missing the opener through injury.
Mercado, who was replaced in the team by Bryan Staring at Phillip Island, has worked hard on his fitness in order to make the grid Imola after breaking his right wrist during a training crash on a supermoto machine.
“I like the Imola track and after my test in Aragon I can say I'm ready for my first Italian races of the year. I missed out on the Phillip Island races because of injury but now I'm really motivated and my physical condition is good,” said the 19-year-old.
“I did some extensive training to be ready for this round. I like Imola, also because there are many team Pedercini supporters and it is our home race. I will try to get as many points as possible.”
His team-mate, David Salom, experienced some discomfort during the recent shakedown at Aragon after fracturing his right wrist during testing at Phillip Island but is looking forward to the Italian race nonetheless.
“I'm ready to race in Imola. I tested at Aragon two weeks ago and my right wrist fracture has improved a great deal. I'm still feeling some pain but this will not prevent me from racing,” he said.
“I know the Imola circuit well and I like it. Is very technical and requires good bike balance. We didn't have the best of luck in Australia and so I am very motivated to turn that around, perform well and have two solid races come Sunday.”