2022 has really put Access Plus Racing to the test as the team has had to fight for every single race victory and podium finish in this year’s Philippine Superbike Championship (PSBK). But as the season reaches its halfway mark, Timothy Joseph “TJ” Alberto and Lawrence Macalinao now shifts their focus on winning their respective class titles.
TJ has won 4 out of the 6 races so far and finished no lower than 2nd. While he holds onto a 13 points lead in the overall standings, all those podium finishes didn’t come easy. He had to nurse a shoulder injury during the season opener at Clark International Speedway (CIS) and endured the pain just to maintain 1st place. A tire issue at the Batangas Racing Circuit (BRC) then nearly caused him to lose control of his #77 Ducati Panigale V4 back in July. Going from bad to worse, TJ would suffer a horrific crash a month later in practice, yet still managed to race and win that weekend.
His teammate also had his fair share of ups and downs on his debut season with Access Plus Racing. Lawrence started the season well, finishing 1st in the Intermediate Class on his very first race. The succeeding races, however, were plagued by mechanical failures and rider errors that robbed him of potential race victories. But time and time again, he was able to recover and finish consistently on the podium plus a much-deserved lights-to-flag win during the last race at BRC. Only a single point separates him and the Intermediate Class leader as the 2022 Philippine Superbike Championship reaches its halfway point with Round 4 taking place on September 3/4.
Practice and Qualifying will be held on Saturday at the Clark International Speedway, followed by Race 1 and Race 2 on Sunday.
TJ Alberto, #77: “We were out testing last week with the team and were able to improve the bike further. I can say that I’m now on the same level of confidence as I was in 2021 when we were consistently winning races. So I’m excited to go back to Clark as I really like the track and we have a good win record here. Now we’re heading into the second half of the season with a 13 points advantage in the overall championship. It’s not a huge gap yet, but we’re making steady progress every race and looking forward to win this weekend.”
Lawrence Macalinao, #26: “Based on our test last week, I am really happy with the results and the whole bike setup. More and more I am getting accustomed with the Ducati Panigale V4. Hopefully going into the second half of the season we can bridge the gap closer to the frontrunners and take the championship lead in the Intermediate Class which is our ultimate goal.”
Toti Alberto, Team Principal: “Everyone at Access Plus Racing worked hard for every race win and podium finish this season. Good job from everyone for their hard work. It takes the effort of the whole team to take us where we are now and I’m really excited that both TJ and Lawrence are in the championship fight. We’ve already learned a lot since the start of the year and we’re still learning. We try to get as much mileage as we can in between the races, finding every bit of performance from our Ducatis and our riders. Praying to God for good results and a safe race this weekend.”
Access Plus Racing is sponsored by Ducati Philippines, Angkas, Essenza, Frontrow, Katinko, Makati Diamond Residences, Italtrans, Aella, Apex, Extreme Components, Lv8, Macbeth, Ohlins, and STM, with Motoworld and Teagumps.