Team MIE Racing Honda is at Jerez de la Frontera in Spain for the tenth round of the 2021 Superbike World Championship, with rider Leandro ‘Tati’ Mercado completing the day’s free practice sessions with encouraging results, further improving in terms of both his speed and pace.

In the morning’s first free practice, Mercado was able to work well right from the off, soon lowering his lap times and setting a best of 1’41.302 with his CBR1000RR-R FIREBLADE by the session’s end. With this result, the Argentinian closed this opening session well up the field, in fourteenth place and just over one second from the top.

The second session ran in ideal conditions during the afternoon (air 23°C, track 31°C), and almost all riders were able to improve on their morning’s best times. Mercado was no exception, lowering his time in the last couple of minutes, albeit by just a fraction of a second. A time of 1’41.233 nevertheless saw him finish just four tenths of a second from the top ten.

This result as good as consolidated his earlier position, the MIE Racing Honda rider placing fifteenth overall in the day’s combined standings.

Private: Leandro Mercado 36

15th 1'41.233

"Today went quite well. I felt good in FP1 and had good feeling after we made some changes designed to give us more rear grip. In FP2 I felt a little less good because we tried something with the electronics together with a harder tyre specification, with the aim of not only increasing the grip but also maintaining it over race distance, but I didn't feel completely comfortable. We went back to a softer tyre and took a step forward as a result. We still have work to do tomorrow because I feel we can take another step in this area. And it’s very important to do that so that we’re prepared in case the weather changes and the temperatures get a lot higher.”