Monster Energy Attack Kawasaki’s Leandro Mercado Nails Down A Solid Second Place
Sonoma, Calif.– Monster Energy Attack Kawasaki’s Leandro Mercado earned second overall in his third AMA Pro SuperSport race of the year during an exciting 18-lap, bar-to-bar battle at Infineon Raceway. The race temperature was in the mid-90s as the young riders raced fearlessly around the 11-turn course. In the AMA Pro Daytona SportBike race, both Jamie Hacking and Roger Hayden had small crashes. Hacking was able to come back for 13th, while Hayden was unable to continue.
Another Podium for Tati
With only three races in the books for Mercado in the AMA Pro SuperSport class, the Argentine nicknamed Tati, took his second podium. Throughout the 18-lap race, Mercado was on the rear tire of the first place rider, but was unable to find a time and place for a safe pass.
“This was a tough race,” said Mercado. “I was battling the whole time and it was really hot out. It was still fun even though I didn’t get the win.”
The Tough Get Going
After a few laps of the AMA Pro Daytona SportBike race, Hacking was in a good position. A small mistake put his bike briefly on the ground, but a new AMA rule requires that all downed bikes come into the pits for a quick safety check before re-entering the race. After being a held up in the pits, Hacking was still able to come back for 13th overall.
“The race was a little frustrating because I felt really good,” said Hacking. “After those first few laps, I didn’t feel like I was pushing too hard and I wasn’t getting tired. That’s racing and we’ll just have to hope that our next race is better.”
After a solid race on Saturday, Hayden made noticeable improvements during the Sunday warm-up prior to the race. He was running a fast pace during the race, but laid the bike down in turn two. When he came in for his safety check in the pits, he was unable to return to the race.
“I was catching the rider in front of me after a mediocre start and pushing it pretty good,” said Hayden. “The track was a bit greasy with the heat and I think I just pushed it a little bit too hard. I’ll try and make up for my mistake at the next race.”
Heat, Heat and More Heat
The temperature in Sonoma, Calif. was a big factor in Sunday’s race. The riders did what they could to stay cool prior to the race.
During the autograph session on Sunday, Hacking only seemed to hear one thing from the fans; “That was the best save I have ever seen in my life.” The fans were referring to the near crash that Hacking displayed during race one at Barber Motorsports Park.
“I heard that phrase all weekend and even though it seemed to be repetitive, I was very grateful for the fans and their enthusiasm,” said Hacking.
ResultsAMA Pro Road Racing Series
Infineon Raceway – Sonoma, Calif.
May 17, 2009