IodaRacing will miss the season-opening Phillip Island round of the 2017 World Superbike Championship next weekend after Leandro Mercado broke several ribs in a training accident.
The Italian team stepped over to WorldSBK in 2016 after several seasons in the MotoGP World Championship with Alex De Angelis and Danilo Petrucci before him.
Ioda fielded De Angelis and 2015 European STK1000 champion Lorenzo Savadori on leased Aprilia machinery. The pair finished 10th and 13th in the championship standings, with De Angelis scoring a podium in Germany.
Scaling down to a one-rider effort for 2017, and with De Aneglis and Savadori off to Pedercini Racing and Milwaukee Aprilia respectively, Ioda enlisted the services of 2016 STK1000 runner-up Mercado
The Argentinian, who raced in the SBK class in 2015 on a Ducati, had been steadily getting to grips with the RSV-4RF during pre-season testing and felt he was heading in the right direction ahead of the Australian round.
Mercado was training on a motocross bike when he crashed and broke three ribs, suffering a collapsed lung as well. Thankfully, his condition is not critical and he has been ordered to rest up.
IodaRacing are hoping to travel to Thailand for the second round of the championship next month, though this will depend on the progression of Mercado’s recovery.