Securing 2 pole positions, 2 race victories in the Pro Category, and another 2 wins in the Expert Class, Access Plus Racing couldn’t have had a more perfect start to the 2023 Philippine Superbike Championship (PSBK). Its riders Timothy Joseph “TJ” Alberto and Lawrence Macalinao were untouchable last May 6/7 at the Batangas Racing Circuit (BRC), making them the team to beat this season.
Work for 2023 began right after the final event of 2022. Aside from working on rider development, it was also an opportunity to fine tune their latest-spec Ducati Panigale V4 R and V4 S. Results from pre-season tests showed a lot of promise, which translated into results during the first event of the year.
TJ immediately topped the time sheets during Qualifying with a 1:33.361 lap to set a new personal best on the 3.500 km track. It allowed him to secure pole position and clear his nearest rivals by more than a full second. Lawrence mirrored his teammate’s performance to end up P4 overall and P1 amongst the Expert Class riders, giving Access Plus Racing confidence ahead of Sunday.
Race 1 was a dream result for both riders. TJ rocketed off the line and left everyone in his wake. The #77 Ducati Philippines rider built a massive 16.257 secs lead over a span of 11 laps to deliver a dominant lights-to-flag victory. Lawrence was also miles ahead of the competition in the Expert Class. His lead was unchallenged from start-to-finish to claim his first class win of the weekend.
Both riders were back at the front in Race 2. It was a replay of the morning’s performance with both TJ and Lawrence enjoying another lights-to-flag win in their respective classes, completing the perfect race weekend for Access Plus Racing with full 50 championship points for each rider.
After such a dominant start to the 2023 Philippine Superbike Championship (PSBK), the team is hoping for a repeat at Round 2 on June 3/4 as the series returns to the Batangas Racing Circuit (BRC).
TJ Alberto, #77: “We have taken 50 points from the first 2 races and I cannot thank the team enough for their hard work with our new bike. They have been incredible on improving the Panigale V4 R and improve on the strong base we developed last year. I feel really good for this season, strong and fit, and looking forward to the next race in 3 weeks.”
Lawrence Macalinao, #26: “Very happy that we got P1 in Qualifying, P1 in Race 1, and P1 again in Race 2. We bagged 50 points for the Expert Class which helps our goal to win the championship this year. We made some setup changes to my Panigale V4 S that now better suits my riding style. With this I was able to push more confidently and even logged by personal best lap around BRC. We’re expecting my times to improve in the succeeding rounds and stay in front.”
Toti Alberto, Team Principal: “It’s a very fulfilling opening round for us. We’ve been preparing for this months ago. We never had an off season break and been hard at work since the last race of 2022. Now the results speak for themselves. TJ is so much above the competition, which also makes it safer for him and us as a family. Also proud of Lawrence. He has really stepped up his performance this year and delivered wins in his class. Thank you Lord that it all went well.”
Access Plus Racing is sponsored by Ducati Philippines, Angkas, Shell Advance Motorcycle Oils, Frontrow, Makati Diamond Residences, Katinko Oil and Ointment, Macbeth, Aella, LV8 Elevate, Extreme Components, STM, and Öhlins Racing.