Access Plus Racing is now a step closer to securing the Philippine Superbike Championship (PSBK) titles after its most recent visit to the Clark International Speedway (CIS). Timothy Joseph “TJ” Alberto and Lawrence Macalinao would score 3 class victories over the weekend, once again demonstrating the dominance of their Ducati Panigale V4.
However, things would get off to a slow start on Saturday. TJ couldn’t quite match the pace of his rivals during the wet Qualifying session, putting him down in P3. Lawrence also had trouble extracting the most out of his #26 machine and ended up P7 overall behind the other Intermediate Class entries.
But all doubts quickly faded away as warm, dry weather greeted the team on race day. TJ rocketed off the line in Race 1 and was in the lead by turn one. Even if it was drizzling on some parts of the circuit, his #77 Panigale V4 was faultless for all 9 laps and took the chequered flag in 1st place. Lawrence was untouchable in the Intermediate Class. He was 3 secs a lap quicker than the other riders in his category and went on to claim a dominant victory with a 28.823 secs lead.
Now starting from pole, TJ lead for the most of Race 2 in the afternoon. He momentarily dropped down to P2, but the reigning PSBK champion later regained 1st place and added to his 2022 tally of wins. Lawrence was also en route to another class win, but lost control while attempting to set a personal best around the 4.189 km circuit. What could have been another victory ended up in a DNF.
Based on our calculations, TJ Alberto now has a 19 points lead in the overall standings. Lawrence Macalinao, on the other hand, still has to make up 19 points to secure the Intermediate Class title. The 2022 Philippine Superbike Championship will return to the Batangas Racing Circuit (BRC) on the 1st/2nd of October for Round 5 where 1.5x points will be awarded.
TJ Alberto, #77: “We had 2 really exciting races and happy to win both. It’s been quite a while since we last got a double victory, which was way back at the start of the season. Next race we go back to BRC and we now have some ideas on what to improve on. Looking forward to test there soon to see how much pace we can gain. The championship is still wide open so I need to make sure to deliver results in all the remaining races.”
Lawrence Macalinao, #26: “Mixed feelings from the race weekend. I’m very happy with our performance and our Race 1 win. Come Race I was quite confident on the Panigale V4 and pushed to get a good lap time. However, I crashed out while in the lead. For the last 2 legs my focus will mainly be on the championship. It’s still possible and I hope can get it for Access Plus Racing. Thank you very much to the team for giving me the best bike possible and congratulations for a great weekend overall!”
Toti Alberto, Team Principal: “I’m happy that TJ was able to score both race victories coming from P3 in Qualifying. The changing conditions made it challenging for us, but we were able to get our settings on point for Race 1 and 2. Also happy for Lawrence on his Race 1 win. It was just unfortunate he crashed out in Race 2 while he was leading in the Intermediate Class, but at least he’s safe. He has improved a lot since joining Access Plus Racing this year and we’re hoping that he and TJ can win their respective class championships by the end of the season.”
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.