After a stellar performance last month, Access Plus Racing riders Timothy Joseph “TJ” Alberto and Lawrence Macalinao are hoping for a repeat as the Philippine Superbike Championship (PSBK) returns to the Clark International Speedway (CIS) this weekend.
The team debuted the latest 2023-spec Ducati Panigale V4 R and V4 S during their last visit to the 4.189 km circuit and used it to good effect. Not only did both riders deliver 2 race wins each in their respective categories, but TJ and Lawrence also landed 1st and 3rd places on the overall podium in Race 1. Using the specially-developed high-performance Shell Advance Ultra 15w50 oil, their bikes stayed cool and maintained top performance throughout the grueling 10-lap races despite the scorching track temperatures.
Adding some spice mid-season, Round 4 of the championship will throw in a new variable into the mix as the organizers roll out a new tire compound this weekend. Pirelli will debut the new Diablo Superbike SCX rear tire, which was developed for the WSBK. It effectively replaces the old SC1 tire compound that has been used by PSBK since 2018. Promising better grip and performance, Access Plus Racing is hoping to break lap records with the new tire and further extend their lead in the championship.
As the 2023 season reaches its halfway point, TJ now holds a 6 points lead in the Pro Class standings while Lawrence is 14 points clear of his nearest Expert Class rival. Qualifying for Round 4 is scheduled on Saturday (August 5), while Races 1 and 2 happen on Sunday (August 6).
TJ Alberto, #77: “We were quite successful last time we were at Clark with 2 race victories that put us in the points lead. But the championship has been very close this year and it’s going to be a very interesting weekend. While we’ve been developing the 2023 Panigale V4 R in the short break in between the races, this will be the first time for us to run the new Pirelli SCX tire. Looking forward to see how this changes the playing field, but it can only be good for us and I’m very motivated for the races.”
Lawrence Macalinao, #26: “Now halfway through the season with halfway still to go. For us it’s about keeping the momentum and make sure we keep improving on the pace that we have on the new Panigale V4 S. We’re aiming to get even better lap times this weekend and hope to deliver strong results just like the last time we were here.”
Toti Alberto, Team Principal: “The whole team is really pumped up for the race weekend after our solid results last month. TJ and Lawrence are both leading their respective classes and our goal is score as much points as possible. Access Plus Racing has found further improvements on our Ducati Panigale V4s over the last few weeks and hope this translates into race wins. However, we have yet to run the new Pirelli SCX tire and it will be interesting to see how this affects our performance.”
Access Plus Racing is sponsored by Ducati Philippines, Angkas, Shell Advance Motorcycle Oils, ArmyNavy Burger + Burrito, Frontrow, Makati Diamond Residences, Katinko Oil and Ointment, Macbeth, Aella, LV8 Elevate, Extreme Components, STM, and Öhlins Racing.