Access Plus Racing deliver solid results on PSBK’s return to CIS


Further extending their points lead, Timothy Joseph “TJ” Alberto and Lawrence Macalinao were again at the front when the 2023 Philippine Superbike Championship (PSBK) reached the season’s halfway point last August 5/6. They took Access Plus Racing to victory road with a number of class wins and a repeat of their 1-3 finish at the Clark International Speedway (CIS) last month.

Still fresh from their competitive debut last month, their latest 2023-spec Ducati Panigale V4 R and V4 S already received some upgrades over the short break. The team also spent considerable time to further dial-in the setup and make them more confident on the limit. The race weekend also saw the introduction of the new Diablo Superbike SCX rear tire, which is the latest compound used in the WSBK.

Access Plus Racing was able to give TJ and Lawrence a good bike setup for Qualifying, allowing TJ to stop the clock at 1:49.630 to claim pole position. Lawrence, on the other hand, set a new personal best of 1:54.632 to place him P4 on the grid and ahead of all the Expert Class riders.

Track temperatures reached a scorching 33 deg. Celsius during Race 1 on Sunday morning. TJ found himself battling with Dashi Watanabe for the lead, while preserving his #77 machine’s tires, brakes, and engine in the heat. He eventually made a clean pass on lap 3 and began to pull away, before making a big push in the closing stages to set the fastest lap of the race with 1:49.425 lap and claim 1st place.

Lawrence ran into some issues with his #26 Panigale V4 S and had to start from the pit lane. But he immediately chased after his rivals and set a new 1:53.865 personal best in the process. Unfortunately, his charge to the top spot in the Expert Class was cut short when he slipped on the final lap and rejoined to take the chequered flag 3rd in his category.

The weather got even hotter in the afternoon, making Race 2 a real challenge for both Access Plus Racing riders. This caused TJ to make a mistake running wide and dropping behind Marvin Mangulabnan. It would take him several laps to eventually catch up and regain the lead before opening up a 5.666 secs gap to secure his second win of the weekend.

After his misadventures in the morning, Lawrence made sure to get to safely get to the finish line and bring home full points. He rode consistent, quick laps and was gifted not only with 1st place in the Expert Class, but also 3rd overall and shared the podium with his teammate.

TJ Alberto’s flawless run to victory further extends his championship lead to 12 points in the Pro Class standings. Lawrence, on the other hand, maintains his top spot in the Expert Class also with 12 points as the 2023 season of the Philippine Superbike Championship (PSBK) resumes on September 2/3 at the Batangas Racing Circuit (BRC).

TJ Alberto, #77: “Another incredible weekend as we finished every session in P1. In the end, we went home with full 50 points and extend my championship lead. Every point is vital as there will be a 1.5x multiplier for the final races. We look forward to see how the new 2023 Panigale V4 R handles on BRC next month.”

Lawrence Macalinao, #26: “Happy that we were able to maintain our momentum and keep on improving our performance on track. I was also able to set a new personal best lap around Clark. Although we had some issues in Race 1, TJ and I again shared the Pro Class podium in Race 2. I’m very happy and our focus now is to close in on the championship in the final 2 rounds of 2023.”

Toti Alberto, Team Principal: “Always thankful to the Lord for another safe and successful race weekend. Really impressed with how much TJ and Lawrence improved since the last time we visited Clark with both setting new personal bests around the track. We’re happy with our results and be able to maintain our championship lead, but the season is far from over. 1.5x points will be awarded in the next 2 rounds and anything can still happen.”

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.