Monster Energy Attack Kawasaki's Leandro Mercado Captures AMA SuperSport National Championship In Daytona

2009-10-22 14:23
Monster Energy Attack Kawasaki’s Leandro Mercado redeemed his bad luck in the AMA East Coast SuperSport championship to take the AMA SuperSport National Championship at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Fla. this past weekend. Mercado, who qualified second on the starting grid, got out to the lead early. With a good battle for the lead taking place, Mercado rounded the final corner right behind the leader, making the pass with .148 of a second to spare.

No Rust Here
With over a month since his last race, Mercado showed no signs of rust when he got out on the track. He qualified second during a short session on Friday, putting him in good position for the 12-lap race on Sunday. Mercado took an early lead, but was passed on the fourth lap. He remained close to the leader and with only one turn left, he made the pass in the final seconds of the race to win the National SuperSport Championship.

“I was sure that if I had a good run off the last banking, I could use the draft and get him (Josh Day),” said Mercado. “I knew I needed to overtake him and it ended up working out. My bike was running awesome and I was really confident the Ninja® ZX™-6R would be there for me in the end.”

Feels Good
After having visa issues during the regular season, Mercado wanted to come out and prove that he was worthy of a championship.

“It feels great because I had a lot of people working behind me and I felt like I let them down when I had the issue with my visa,” said Mercado. “It definitely felt like redemption for me and the team.”

Not Slowing Down
During the break, Mercado stuck to his strict training schedule at home and it helped him in the 12-lap sprint race at the demanding track in Daytona Beach.

“Since New Jersey, I haven’t changed my program much and have continued to train with my coach Leo,” said Mercado. “I think it helped since it was a pretty short race and I needed to sprint the whole time.”

Results
AMA Pro Road Racing Series
Daytona International Speedway- Daytona Beach, Fla.
October 18, 2009

AMA Pro Daytona SportBike Results
1. LEANDRO MERCADO, MONSTER ENERGY ATTACK KAWASAKI
2. Josh Day, Yamaha
3. Tomas Puerta, Yamaha
4. Joey Pascarella, Yamaha
5. Ricky Parker, Yamaha
6. Tyler Odom, Honda
7. Travis Wyman, Suzuki
8. Kris Turner, Suzuki
9. Huntley Nash, Yamaha
10. Russ Wikle, Suzuki

Source: Monster Energy Kawasaki

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