FIM Superstock 1000 Cup runner-up Leandro Mercado is set to move back up to World Superbikes in 2017 with IodaRacing who retains Aprilia machinery.
The 24-year-old enjoyed a productive campaign in World Superbikes in 2015 with Barni Ducati to finish eighth in the riders' championship before spending this season in the Superstock 1000 class with the Aruba.it Racing Ducati Junior Team where he narrowly missed out on the title by four points to Althea BMW's Raffaele De Rosa.
Despite his frustration, Mercado – who won the FIM Superstock 1000 crown in 2014 – is relishing a fresh opportunity with IodaRacing Aprilia back in the World Superbike championship.
"I am very happy to return to World Superbikes,” Mercado said. “For me this will be a new year where I will learn a lot.
“After three years with Ducati, with whom I also won the title in STK1000 in 2014, I will now have the RSV4RF one of the most competitive bikes in the world.
“I am very grateful to Iodaracing and Giampiero Sacchi for the great opportunities they are giving me and the opportunity to show my potential. I can't wait to start this adventure and start the year at Phillip Island."
IodaRacing lost out on potential factory Aprilia backing plus rider Lorenzo Savadori to Shaun Muir's Milwaukee squad for 2017, but will remain on the World Superbike grid with Mercado.
IodaRacing is also set to debut in the all-new World Supersport 300 championship with Italian Armando Pontone on Yamaha R3 machinery.