As the 2019 season of the Asia Road Racing Championship (ARRC) reaches its halfway point, Access Plus Racing-Ducati Philippines-Essenza is looking forward to show off the capabilities of their brand new Panigale V4R at the iconic Suzuka Circuit in Japan. Timothy Joseph “TJ” Alberto and Jonathan Serrapica will again head the team’s lineup as they continue their ASB1000 campaign this June 28/30.
The 5.807 km circuit is a true ‘temple of speed’ with its undulating corners, tight hairpin, and the flat out 130R. It’s one of the world’s most recognizable tracks and is known to push both man and machine to their limits. This is a welcome challenge to both Alberto and Serrapica who are ready to bring the fight to the front-runners.
Alberto has shown a lot of progress on his first year in the ARRC. The Filipino rider is able to steadily improve his pace at every race this season as he gains confidence riding the new Italian superbike. His impressive performance has allowed him to consistently finish in the top 10 with a best 6th place during the curtain raiser in Malaysia. He’s currently in a strong 10th position in the championship as he races at the Suzuka Circuit in Japan for the very first time.
His teammate Serrapica, on the other hand, encountered teething issues early in the year as he adjusted his riding style to the Panigale V4R. However, he put in a lot of work and effort to learn how to effectively ride the new superbike at its full potential. And when he did, the Italian-Swiss rider was able to consistently take his #48 machine to point-scoring finishes in Malaysia, Australia, and Thailand to hold onto 12th spot in the standings.
The Asia Road Racing Championship’s fourth round at Suzuka Circuit features Qualifying and Race 1 on Saturday (June 29) followed by Race 2 on Sunday (June 30).
TJ Alberto, #77 Ducati: “It’s a privilege to race on such a legendary circuit as Suzuka. We’ve never competed here before so it’s going to be quite a memorable experience to take it at speed especially on a Ducati Panigale V4R. The layout is also said to be quite taxing on both the bike and rider, which should keep us on our toes during the races.”
Johnathan Serrapica #48 Ducati: “I’m finally enjoying the Panigale V4R so I’m definitely looking forward to jumpstart my season in Japan. Our goal is to be on pace right away and close the gap with the other riders. Suzuka is a very iconic track that will surely push us to our limits, but I’m prepared for the challenge ahead.”
Toti Alberto, Team Principal: “Hard to believe that we’re now almost halfway through the season in the ARRC. We’ve had an incredible journey so far from the season opener at Sepang, The Bend in Australia, and Buriram last month. Happy that we’ve learned and grown a lot as a team and we’re just hoping to bring back good results and memories from Suzuka this coming race weekend with TJ and Jonathan.”
Team Access Plus Racing-Ducati Philippines-Essenza is sponsored by Access Plus Group, Ducati Philippines, Essenza, AELLA, Dickies Philippines, Öhlins Philippines, Century Hotel Angeles City, LV8, and Pradera Verde.