Alberto on track for his 1st title as Watanabe suffers bike mishap
Date posted on December 11, 2021
After the first 2 races of the Pirelli Philippine Superbike final weekend, Okada Manila-Access Plus Racing‘s TJ Alberto has been perfect so far on his Ducati Panigale V4R.
He took the Pole Position on Friday with a new lap record of 1min 49.953s around the Clark International Speedway. He then proceeded to comfortably win both races today over his main rivals Watanabe and Mangulabnan.
He also lowered his own track record again in the morning race with a time of 1 min 49.850s. Clearly, Alberto and his team are in championship form and it is looks very likely that PSBK history will be made tomorrow Sunday.
“What a day! That’s 2 for 2 wins! Thank you Lord. We have extended the lead in the championship fight and we take a new lap record again! I’m happy to also have shared the podium today with my brother Troy Alberto ! It was a great day. Tomorrow we have a chance at the PSBK title, ” said Alberto.
Meanwhile, FGM Kawasaki’sDashi Watanabe, the rider who was second in the championship standings before today, did very well in the morning race to finish 2nd and also setting his own new personal lap record of 1 min 50.1s despite overheating problems that started as early as lap 4.
Unfortunately, by finishing the race at speed with an overheating engine, he paid the price and his old bike expired after the race. Fortunately, fellow Kawasaki Racing team mate Jason Park lent him a bike so he could score valuable points. He lined up at the back of the grid but still finished an impressive 4th.
” Thank you to JYP Racing, Ben and Jhun na nag pahiram ng bike sa akin for Race 2 para makaikot pa for points. Subukan natin ulit tomorrow sa final round, ” said a grateful Watanabe.
Motul Alpinestars’ Marvin Mangulabnan finished strong with a 3rd and a 2nd despite racing on a very old 2016 bike. After mechanical problems earlier in the year, Mangulabnan decided to use his trusty old bike that won him many races and championships. Looks like the bike is still competitive and reliable.
Meanwhile, Troy Alberto was fastest in morning warm-up and took his first PSBK podium of the season with a fine 3rd place in the afternoon race.
” P4 and P3 finishes today! Will be pushing tomorrow to finish higher up and end the season on a high, ” said Troy Alberto
Two more races tomorrow to decide the 2021 Pirelli PSBK Championships.
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