DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – Argentina rider Leandro Mercado aboard the No. 92 Monster Energy Attack Kawasaki Ninja ZX-6R slipped past Orlando's Josh Day coming out of the Turn 4 on the last lap to win Sunday's AMA Pro SuperSport Shootout at Daytona International Speedway.
The margin of victory was .148 seconds for Mercado, who earned the No. 1 plate as the SuperSport National Champion.
Mercado led the opening three laps of the 12-lap race before Day, aboard the No. 4 Team E.S.P. Yamaha YZF-R6, took the lead on Lap 4. Mercado ran with Day for the reminder of the race before making his move for the win on Turn 4 of the last lap with the checkered flag in sight.
"It was a really good race," Mercado said. "I really had to work hard to catch him. The only place I could pass him was in the second horseshoe as I was a little faster there. I was afraid to do it because the bike moved a lot and I didn't want to leave a final draft for him. I didn't have any other opportunities to pass, but on the last lap I had a really good run out of the chicane."
The 20-year-old Day, who attended Boone High School in Orlando, was the 2009 SuperSport East champion. At one point this season, he won four straight SuperSport races and captured the SuperSport Shootout pole at his "home track" on Friday.
On the last lap, Day didn't want the lead coming out of the chicane but Mercado was playing the exact same strategy.
"I was just trying to push as hard as I could and try to get enough gap in front of him to where I could hold him off before the start/finish line for the checkered flag," Day said. "I just tried my hardest to put in a fast lap on the white flag lap since he wouldn't come by me. I really wanted him to lead going into the chicane so I could do the same thing that he did to me. We ended up with second today and it's a good way to end the season. At least we were right there at the finish."
Colombian rider Tomas Puerta aboard the No. 12 LTD Racing Yamaha YZF-R6 edged teammate Joey Pascarella on the No. 25 LTD Racing Yamaha YZF-R6 for third-place honors.
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SuperSport Shootout Results
Provisional results for the AMA Pro SuperSport Shootout with finishing position, rider name, bike and laps:
Leandro Mercado, Kawasaki, 12 laps
Josh Day, Yamaha, 12
Tomas Puerta, Yamaha, 12
Joey Pascarella, Yamaha, 12
Ricky Parker, Yamaha, 12
Tyler Odom, Honda, 12
Travis Wyman, Suzuki, 12
Kris Turner, Suzuki, 12
Huntley Nash, Yamaha, 12
Russ Wikle, Suzuki, 12
Kyle Keesee, Kawasaki, 12
Reese Wacker, Suzuki, 12
Alex Lazo, Yamaha, 3
Jacob Gagne, Yamaha, 1
Ryan Conrad, Yamaha, DNS
Race time : 22:27.459
Margin of victory : .148
Winner’s average speed : 113.8 mph
: Day 8; Mercado 4 Expert Supertwins: 1. Barrett Long, Ducati; 2. Walt Sipp, Buell; 3. Rudolf Von Lignau, Ducati.
Rest of Sunday’s Results
Thunderbike: 1. Nate Kern, BMW; 2. Chris Boy, Ducati; 3. Banny Bilansky, Buell.
Factory Pro Sportbike : 1. Dane Westby, Yamaha; 2. Michael Barnes, Yamaha; 3. Scott Greenwood, Kawasaki.
Amateur Heavyweight SuperSport : 1. Juan Carlos Osorio, Suzuki; 2. James Cohrs, Yamaha 600; 3. Javier Vazquez, Suzuki.
Expert Heavyweight SuperSport : 1. Anthony Fania Jr., Suzuki; 2. Charlie Mavros, Suzuki; 3. Juan Camilo Correa, Yamaha.
Amateur Lightweight Grand Prix : 1. Jim Berard, Ducati; 2. Jay Smith, Buell; 3. Adrian Jasso, Yamaha.
Expert Lightweight Grand Prix : 1. Sam Rozynski, Buell; 2. Joseph Rozynski, Buell; 3. Dan Frisbie, Yamaha.
Amateur Unlimited GP : 1. Daniel Guevara, Suzuki; 2. Charles Justice, Suzuki; 3. Michael Devito, Yamaha.
Expert Unlimited GP : 1. Eric Wood, Ducati; 2. Jeff Lampe, n/a; 3. Greg Gorman, Kawasaki.
Amateur Heavyweight Superbike : 1. Jordan Richardson, Buell; 2. Javier Vazquez, Suzuki; 3. James Cohrs, Yamaha.
Expert Heavyweight Superbike: 1. Danny Bilansky, Buell; 2. Joel Spalding, Buell; 3. Ryan Patterson, Yamaha.
Amateur Lightweight Superbike : 1. Jim Berard, Ducati; 2. Jay Smith, Buell; 3. Al Smith, Suzuki.
Expert Lightweight Superbike: 1. Sam Rozynski, Buell 1200; 2. Ed Key, Suzuki; 3. Joseph Rozynski, Buell.
Amateur Unlimited Superbike : 1. Daniel Guevara, Suzuki; 2. Charles Justice, Suzuki; 3. Javier Vazquez, Suzuki.
Expert Unlimited Superbike: 1. Brian Stokes, Kawasaki; 2. Charlie Mavros, Suzuki; 3. Greg Gorman, Kawasaki.
Amateur Ultra Light Superbike: 1. Darrell Ryals, Suzuki; 2. Charles Burton IV, Suzuki; 3. Al Smith, Suzuki.
Expert Ultra Light Superbike: 1. Rodolfo Ramirez, Suzuki; 2. Scott Mullin, Kawasaki; 3. Kyle Keesee, Suzuki.
Expert Middleweight Superbike: 1. Roberto Pietri, Yamaha; 2. Ryan Patterson, Yamaha; 3. Scott Greenwood, Kawasaki.
Amateur SuperTwins: 1. Jordan Richardson, Buell; 2. Robert Crespo, Ducati; 3. Alberto Padron, Ducati.
Expert Supertwins: 1. Barrett Long, Ducati; 2. Walt Sipp, Buell; 3. Rudolf Von Lignau, Ducati.
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