Access Plus Racing has certainly turned its fortunes around in the Asia Road Racing Championship (ARRC) after a productive weekend at the Sepang International Circuit. After suffering a broken collarbone at the season opener, Timothy Joseph “TJ” Alberto returned in ASB1000 to deliver a pair point-scoring finishes in Round 2 of the 2022 season.
TJ, now recovered from his crash in Thailand, made the most out of the practice sessions to get re-acquainted with his #77 Ducati Panigale V4R. He was within the Top 10 of the time sheets, thus giving the team high hopes for the races. His efforts would earn Access Plus Racing P11 during Qualifying with a solid lap around the 5.543 circuit.
Lining up on the fourth row of the grid on Saturday, the Filipino rider would get a clean getaway in Race 1 much to the relief of the whole team. He then managed to climb up to P10 in the opening stages before slotting into P8 halfway through the 12-lap race. To ensure a top 10 finish, TJ sided with caution for the remaining laps to secure 8th place across the line.
Hopes of a better result on Sunday, however, was prematurely put on hold. The stresses of a full race weekend put pressure on TJ’s previous injury and prevented him from pushing 100%. He had to look past the pain for the entirety of Race 2 just to make it to the chequered flag and bring home points in 11th.
The FIM Asia Road Racing Championship will be taking a 2 month breather before it returns to action. This will give TJ time to rest, recuperate, and come back stronger as the season reaches its halfway point. The series will be paying a visit to the Sportsland Sugo International Circuit in Japan for the very first time from August 12-14.
TJ Alberto: “Happy to score points in both races this weekend with a solid 8th and 11th. Thanks to everyone at Access Plus Racing for a good bike they had prepared this week. They were really on it. Looking forward to the next race in Sugo where I’ll be 100% fit and ready to go. Having only ridden the Panigale V4R four times on track before this race weekend, it was definitely not easy but I was able to find some confidence back on the bike and I’m coming back home with a smile.”
Toti Alberto, Team Principal: “Finishing in the points in both races was a pleasant surprise for Access Plus Racing after what happened in Buriram. Amazing job by TJ and the whole team to be able to finish 8th in the first race. But the second race we knew that it would be a lot harder as TJ’s shoulder was already hurting. Still a great effort to push all the way to the end and score points. Thank you Lord for a safe race and looking forward to find further improvements in Japan come August.”
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.
[Photos courtesy of NewsMoto]