The Argentinean rider secures his and Barni Racing Team’s maiden Superstock 1000 title.
At 22 years of age, Leandro ‘Tati’ Mercado (Barni Racing Team Ducati) has won the 2014 FIM Superstock 1000 Cup after an exciting season finale at Magny-Cours. This is the first time for both team and rider to secure the ultimate prize in what was their maiden season together.
Mercado made his STK1000 debut in 2011 and after one full season in the class, he chose to step up to World Superbike the following year, before eventually returning to Superstock 1000 for the last four events of the 2012 edition. He then finished fourth overall in 2013 and scored his career’s first win at the Nurburgring. Like Savadori, he has raced for both Team Pedercini and Barni Racing Ducati in the STK1000 class.
Mercado entered this year’s final round at Magny-Cours with two wins under his belt and a five point advantage over the other title contender Lorenzo Savadori (Team Pedercini Kawasaki), who had also two race wins in the season.
Despite the hype and pressure given the fourth row start, Mercado managed to keep calm and concentrated enough to cross the chequered flag in fourth place, whilst Savadori crashed out during the last lap, while leading the race, to end up sixth after rejoining.
The young Argentinean is the second non-European rider to secure the STK1000 title after Aussie Brendan Roberts, who won back in 2008 on Ducati machinery as well, and the first one from South America.