Mercado Scores Second SuperSport presented by Shoei Victory at Road America

NEWS June 7, 2009


Mercado Scores Second SuperSport presented by Shoei Victory at Road America

ELKHART LAKE, Wis. (June 7, 2009) - Leandro Mercado (No. 92 Monster Energy Attack Kawasaki Ninja ZX-6R) and Ricky Parker (No. 96 Graves Motorsports Yamaha YZF-R6) capped an entertaining day of racing at Road America with a great, race-long battle for the victory in AMA Pro SuperSport presented by Shoei action.
 
The race, which included both the East and West divisions of SuperSport, was a continuation of sorts of the battle Mercado and Parker had last time out at Infineon Raceway last month. On that day, Parker came out with his first SuperSport victory.
 
Things would be different this time around. Mercado started from the pole, and although Parker was able to lead the first two laps of the race, the 17-year-old Argentine proved why he topped the time charts throughout the weekend by putting the No. 92 Kawasaki into the lead in Turn 5 on Lap 3. Mercado led the next four laps before Parker once again stepped to the front of the class in Turn 5 with four laps remaining.
 
Heading down the front straightaway with two to go, Mercado made the decisive pass and managed to keep Parker in his mirrors to win by 0.449 seconds. It was Mercado's second career SuperSport victory and his first since taking Round 2 of the SuperSport East championship at Road Atlanta in April. The victory moved Mercado to the top of the SuperSport East point standings by 18 points, 81-63, over No. 5 Roadracingworld.com Suzuki GSX-R600 rider Russ Wikle.
 
"It was a really fun race," said Mercado. "It was really hard, Ricky was very close behind.  He passed me a couple times.  The race was difficult.  I tried to push hard every lap and be consistent and not make any mistakes.  I'm really happy.  Today, my Kawasaki worked awesome. I hope to keep it like this in the other races of the year. I want to thank my team for a great job."
 
Parker came home second for his second consecutive SuperSport podium result. He is now third in the SuperSport West point standings with 56 points, just one point behind Clint Shobert (No. 26 American Honda CBR600RR), who finished ninth today, and 18 behind leader Tyler Odom (No. 46 Erion Racing Honda CBR600RR), who was seventh in today's race. It was just Parker's third SuperSport race of the season.
 
"This was actually better than Infineon," said Parker.  "There was a lot more action in there.  We had a lot of passes during the whole race and that made it a lot more fun for us, and I believe for the spectators also.  It was an awesome race.  Leandro and I stayed close pretty much the whole race.  The last lap unfortunately I made a mistake, I ran wide and lost a little bit from him and couldn't just make up the gap in the last few corners.  It's okay, I'm happy with second.  I'll take second this weekend and look forward to Laguna, hopefully we'll get another podium."
 
Josh Day completed the podium on the No. 4 Team E.S.P. Yamaha YZF-R6 with a third-place ride. It was Day's best ride since finishing second in Round 2 at Road Atlanta.
 
"It went pretty well," said Day.  "I wish I could have stayed with the guys at the front but they just picked up the pace a little bit more than what I had for them and we didn't really have the bike setup to be going that quick.  Congrats to how good they were riding up front. Other than that, the rest of the race was pretty flawless and lonely.  The rest of time I was pretty much out there all by myself towards the end.  I wish I could have stayed with them up front, that way we would have had a good three-way battle but hopefully we're coming out for the next race and can stay up front with them."
 
James Rispoli, who leads the points in the AMA Pro Flat Track Grand National Pro Singles Championship, finished fourth in his SuperSport debut aboard the No. 71 NPS Racing Suzuki GSX-R600, and Wikle completed the top five.

The next SuperSport round is scheduled for Saturday, July 4 as part of the Red Bull U.S. Grand Prix at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.
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