MIE Racing Honda Team returns to the track for fifth Assen SBK round
The MIE Racing Honda Team will be back in the WorldSBK paddock this weekend for round 5 of the Superbike World Championship, taking place at the historic TT Assen Circuit in The Netherlands.
The team, together with rider Leandro ‘Tati’ Mercado, chose to sit out the last three rounds so as to focus on development of their CBR1000RR-R FIREBLADE, with a view to finding more consistency. During the opening round of the championship at Motorland Aragón in Spain, Mercado achieved a double eighteenth-place finish on the Sunday, both team and rider now determined to improve on that performance in the upcoming races.
Referred to as the ‘cathedral’ of speed, the historic TT Assen Circuit is a regular fixture on the WorldSBK calendar. 4542 metres long, the track features eighteen turns, of which twelve are right-handers and six left. The last time Argentinian rider Mercado competed at Assen was in 2018, his best result an eighth-place finish in the weekend’s first race. Leandro enjoys racing at the Dutch track and is looking forward to the fact that this event will also welcome a full capacity audience, something that hasn’t been possible until now due to the global pandemic.
Country: The Netherlands
Name: TT Assen Circuit
Length: 4.542 km
Pole position: left
Turns: 6 left, 11 right
Race distance: 21 laps/95.382 km
LAP RECORDS: Best lap – Bautista (Ducati) 1’34.564 (2019). Superpole – Rea (Kawasaki) 1’33.505 (2017).
2019 RESULTS: Race 1 – 1. Bautista (Ducati); 2. Rea (Kawasaki); 3. Van der Mark (Yamaha). Race 2 – 1. Bautista (Ducati); 2. Van der Mark (Yamaha); 3. Rea (Kawasaki).
Private: Leandro Mercado 36
"I am very happy to be back with my bike, my team and in the Superbike World Championship. During the last few weeks, the squad has completed some solid work on the bike and then I rode it again during the tests we have completed. I immediately noticed an improvement in terms of the overall package. There is still work to do of course, but we are all 100% focused on this project. I have also done a lot of physical training and am fit and ready to get back on the bike. I'm happy to do it at Assen too, a track I haven’t visited for two years, last year due to Covid-19 and in 2019 because I was injured. I like the circuit so I'm really looking forward to Friday."