After an eventful race last month, Access Plus Racing is coming back stronger to assert their position as a team to beat in the Philippine Superbike Championship (PSBK). And adding to the challenge of the Batangas Racing Circuit (BRC) is the thread of rain, which will make things very interesting for Timothy Joseph “TJ” Alberto and Lawrence Macalinao over the weekend.
Both riders had mixed results during the series’ last visit to the 3.700 km track. Alberto scored the team’s first win of the day in Race 1, but suffered a frightening tire failure in Race 2. Luckily he managed to stay control of his #77 Ducati Panigale V4 and fight back to 2nd. Macalinao, on the other hand, had a great tussle to win Race 1 by a slim 0.028 secs margin across the line. However, like his teammate, he too struck trouble and stalled at the start of Race 2. But his determination would allow him to catch up despite dropping down to last to finish 2nd in class.
Round 3 of the 2022 championship will only be the PSBK’s second event at BRC in 2 years. Admittedly, even a team as experienced as Access Plus Racing needs more than a single weekend to master the circuit. That’s why they’ve tested extensively leading up to the race to further hone both bike and rider.
Qualifying is again scheduled on Saturday (August 6) with Races 1 and 2 taking place on Sunday (August 7). But the weather will be hard to predict over the next few days. The rain has already been on-and-off on Friday and it’s going to be hard to predict whether the races will be wet or dry. Nevertheless, the team is well-prepared for whatever the weather throws at them and is confident that they’ll be at the front of the back rain or shine.
TJ Alberto, #77: “I’m looking forward to the second race in BRC. So far we’ve been doing well in testing both in the wet and dry and I’m confident that we can be competitive regardless of the weather conditions. It feels good to be back on the Ducati Panigale V4 and we tested some new things over leading up to the race weekend. The changeable weather conditions will make the races interesting, but we come prepared.”
Lawrence Macalinao, #26: “We are looking to bounce back from the previous round. We’ve put in time to practice and improve our pace in BRC and more importantly, learn from our mistakes. The weather forecast seems to be rainy this Sunday. Although our testing were mostly done in the dry, we’re prepared for both dry and wet conditions. Hopefully we can regain the championship points lead in the Intermediate Class this round.”
Toti Alberto, Team Principal: “We just arrived a few days ago from Italy attending the World Ducati Week and to support Troy’s race in WorldSSP300. Still we were able to get enough track time to prepare for the race weekend. The team was able to do a lot of work with Lawrence to make him even more competitive and we’re happy to see how much he has improved. TJ has also learned new things that should help him stay at the front. Access Plus Racing and Ducati Philippines is excited to race and we’re confident that both our riders will deliver strong results.”
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.