The MIE Racing Honda Team has completed the first race of the Dutch WorldSBK round with positive results, its rider Leandro Mercado fighting hard and crossing the line twelfth today.
This morning’s third and final practice allowed the team and rider to make some final preparations ahead of the all-important Superpole, which started at 11:10am local time and ran for just fifteen minutes. During this short yet intense qualifying session, Leandro set a solid fastest time of 1’35.558, which meant he finished in sixteenth position just over one and a half seconds from the front, for a sixth row start in the first of the weekend’s races.
In the early afternoon, the first 21-lap Superbike race (red-flagged after 19 laps, after another rider suffered a crash), got underway in warm, dry conditions. From sixteenth off the line, Mercado soon made up four positions, placing twelfth by lap four. Battling as part of a small group of riders through the central phase of the race, the Argentinian oscillated between twelfth and fourteenth position. Maintaining a consistent pace over the entire race distance, Leandro crossed the line in final twelfth position, scoring four precious championship points.