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Round #3 World Superbike Championship 13 April 2015

Aragón - April 12th 2015
Consistent weekend for FALCO riders at the third 2015 World Superbike round held at Aragón, Spain.
Leandro Mercado and the Barni Racing Team ended with the 8th and 7th place respectively in Race 1 and Race 2. This first European round gave other two sensational results, confirming again the constant growth of the Argentine rider and the team from Bergamo.
What looked like a less complicated weekend compared to Australia and Thailand, turned out to be one of the most hard to deal with. Since Friday Mercado and the Barni Racing Team technicians had had to deal with free practice sessions very different from one another. The dramatic temperature leap between the morning and the afternoon had made it really complicated to find the right setting for the Ducati Panigale R and to make the right tyre choice able to bear the race pace.
Thanks to the constant job and to the testing made on different configurations, during the third free practice session on Saturday, the Argentinian was able to post the 10th fastest lap time, which gave him direct access to Superpole 2, during which Mercado conquered the 10th spot on grid.
On race day Mercado made a good start, jumping from 10th to 7th right away, but after some laps Badovini (BWM), who crashed later on, and Terol (Ducati) both overtook the Argentinian. The Barni Racing Team rider found himself battling with the Honda of the former World Champion Guintoli and in the end he was able to maintain and finish in the 8th position.
More complicated was the starting in Race 2. Due to a mistake in Lap 1, the Argentinian had to follow the riders in front and to catch up the lost positions, but thanks to some small changes made to his Ducati Panigale R in between the two races, Mercado had the right feeling to push and rejoin the rivals. At the end of the race he was protagonist of an intense battle with Salom (Kawasaki) and Vd Mark (Honda), managing to finally end 7th on the finish line.
Leandro Mercado, #36:  "I am really satisfied. Today in Race 2 I was able to do my best results in Superbike and I was really close to end in 6th position. It was a great race even if because of small mistake I did in the first lap I lost some position and I had to catch up because of small mistake I have done in the first lap. Compared to Race 1 we did some small changes that allowed me to have a better pace. The feeling with the bike was great so I started to push to try to rejoin the riders in front and I really had fun during the race final. We are really improving race by race, learning always new things. I hope we will continue this way and to get even closer to the rider in front. I would like to thank all the team and the people, who worked for this weekend. See you in Assen!"
After today round Leandro "Tati" Mercado is ninth in the world championship standings at 102 points from the top, lead by Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki).
The first European round saw Matteo Baiocco closing respectively in thirteenth and eleventh in the World Superbike races. Matteo was unable to resolve the grip issues that have bothered him all weekend and that, in race 1, didn’t allow him to do better than thirteenth. He improved in race 2, where he found better feeling with his Ducati and just missed out on the top ten with a good eleventh place finish. More useful points and further steps forward ahead of the next races scheduled to take place already next weekend at Assen (The Netherlands).
Matteo Baiocco: “I’m a bit disappointed because I haven’t been able to find a solution to the grip problems I’ve had this weekend. I went a little better in race 2 although I struggled to keep pace with those ahead of me. In the end the points are always useful for the standings, but my potential, and that of the bike, means we should be fighting with the best. In Assen we’ll start over with the aim of doing well at a track I enjoy and where I think we can do well.”
French-men Christophe Ponsson completed his races with a 14th and 16th spots and commented as following: "I made a good start, but I didn’t find a good pace in the beginning. I found myself alone with a false pace throughout the race. Take two points like that is not what I wanted!
In Race 2, I had a bad start, but my pace was much better. Unfortunately, I was with slower riders who passed me because of my bad start. I was able to pass them, but I missed the group in front of me. I managed to keep my fast pace, much better than in the first race, to join my teammate. I tried to pass him on the last corner and I eventually finished ahead of him. I would rather be rewarded with points in that race. We are improving, that's the most important."
Watch our riders next week for the 4th round of WSBK in Assen, the "Cathedral of Motorcycling"!