Mercado makes his debuts on the IODARacing Aprilia

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2017 fully got underway for Leandro Mercado and IODARacing this weekend, as they began their first test of the new season, in Portugal. Putting in 27 laps on day one, Mercado began to get a feel for his new bike as well as start to build a relationship with his team.

Held up by transportation issues which meant the team didn’t receive the bikes and equipment until the afternoon, the Argentinian and his team didn’t waste any more time to get out on track. With the data and material already prepared for the test, they were able to try the bike out as soon as the bikes arrived at the Portimao circuit.

Mercado expressed his feelings after his opening day:  “I'm very happy to be back on a Superbike! I'm very happy because my first feelings with the bike and the team are very good. We didn't make a lot of laps today, but it was important to ride today for me and the team, especially as everything is new for everybody. I also needed to ride so that I would know how to ride the bike, it's very different to what I have been riding for the last three years. I need to adapt and learn many things but for the first day it was ok.”

Due to the delay in the arrival of the bike, the team decided to work together and didn’t apply any pressure on the 24 year old. The squad decided not to mount the transponder on the bike, meaning Mercado could just begin to understand his new machine, the Aprilia RSV4RF, without the added pressure of lap times.

“The four cylinder engine of the Aprilia is very different to the two cylinder of the Ducati. The character is different and you have more RPM at the top”, Mercado explained. “I have to get used to the Aprilia and also find my riding position. Today I was adapting my riding position on every lap to try and find out where I should be and feel what I wanted. It's normal to take that time and try and improve step by step. It's important to be patient and make sure that you make steps forward instead of rushing. The team are very good and have a lot of experience and I think that I can learn a lot from them. It's a really nice group of people to work with.”