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- Leandro Mercado reels off a dominant first win of the season in Spain
- British rider Kyle Smith picks up an impressive third place finish for Racedays Honda on his debut
- Fabio Massei and Ondrej Jezek are among the expected title favourites to retire
Leandro Mercado has begun his Barni Ducati career in style by claiming a dominant victory in the opening round of the 2014 FIM Superstock 1000 Cup at Motorland Aragon.
One of the title favourites coming into the season, Mercado – who has switched to Barni Ducati from Pedercini Kawasaki over the winter - led from pole position to cross the line more than five seconds up on former team-mate Lorenzo Savadori.
Indeed, save for Christoffer Bergman's lunge into the lead at the first corner, once Mercado was back in front he didn't put a foot wrong, the Argentinian notching up his second career SSTK win in the process.
Savadori followed him home in a distant second place having worked his way through the chasing pack early on, the Italian benefiting from Fabio Massei crashing out of third position before Mercado's team-mate Ondrej Jezek suffered issues that would ultimately lead to a crash.
Their demise would duly promote Superstock newcomer Kyle Smith into a fine third place finish on the Racedays Honda, the British rider finishing well ahead of the recovering Bergman in fourth position.
Former Superstock 600 star Federico D'Annunzio completed the top five, ahead of a quartet of Kawasaks in the order of Matthieu Lussiana, Simone Grotzkyj, David McFadden, Kevin Valk and Romain Lanusse.