Leandro Mercado and IODAracing Aprilia will sit out the opening round of the 2017 World Superbike championship in Australia after the Argentine rider broke three ribs in a fall.

Last year's FIM European Superstock 1000 championship runner-up had been preparing for his return to World Superbikes as the one-rider entry for IODARacing but has sustained three broken ribs in a fall.

Therefore, he and the team will sit out the Phillip Island test and the 2017 season opener at the Australian circuit next week and is targeting a return to action in the Thailand round two weeks after on the 10-12 March.

Mercado, who celebrated his 24th birthday yesterday, finished eighth overall in the riders' championship when he last competed in World Superbikes in 2015 for Barni Racing Ducati.

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