Date posted on February 28, 2019
A press con was held at the Ducati Manila showroom in Quezon City last February 27 to officially introduce the Access Plus-Ducati Philippines-Essenza racing team, a participant in the inaugural Asia Superbike (ASB) 1000 class of the 2019 FIM Asia Road Racing Championship (ARRC). The ASB1000 is currently the ARRC’s highest level of production bike racing and will run based on FIM Superstock 1000 regulations with machines equivalent to what is being sold to the public.
Access Plus-Ducati Philippines-Essenza racing team with sponsors
Access Plus-Ducati Philippines-Essenza is comprised of Filipino rider TJ Alberto and Swiss-Italian racer Jonathan Serrapica. Team Principal is TJ’s father Toti Alberto. Alberto and Serrapica will race in the newly established ARRC class on board Ducati Panigale V4 R motorcycles supplied and supported by Ducati Corse. The two will ride the latest-spec Ducati Panigale V4 R – a 998cc World Superbike homologated version of the Panigale V4. Rated at 217 hp and 112 Nm of torque, the Panigale V4 R adopts advanced aerodynamics and adjustability similar to the GP16 MotoGP race bike. Suspension is courtesy of an Öhlins fully adjustable titanium nitride NPX front fork and a rear fully adjustable Öhlins TTX36 monoshock.
Highly skilled riders are representing the team. TJ Alberto won the Philippine Superbike Championships’ Novice and Intermediate titles twice and after that he ventured into the Campionato Italiano Velocita (Italian Superbike Championship) and the 2018 WorldSBK Superstock 1000 Championship. Jonathan Serrapica, on the other hand, was the 2017 Malaysian Superstock Champion and a runner-up in the 2018 Malaysian Superbike Championship.
L-R: TJ Alberto, Team Manager Ms. Joy Alberto, Team Principal Mr. Toti Alberto and Jonathan Serrapica
Participating and winning in local competitions for over a decade, Access Plus racing team has now become a breeding ground for international-level talent. The team with Ducati Philippines and Essenza, and oil brand, aims to represent the Ducati brand and showcase the potential of Ducati motorcycles in the ARRC. “It is a new milestone for the team and it’s both daunting and exciting to see how we fare,” said Team Principal Toti Alberto who was a champion superbike and motocross rider in the country in the past years. Team Access Plus Racing-Ducati Philippines-Essenza is sponsored by by AELLA, Dickies Philippines, Öhlins Philippines, Century Hotel Angeles City, LV8, and Pradera Verde.
InsideRACING’s Mr. Al Camba with Mr. Toti Alberto
This 2019, the ARRC is having 7 rounds with 2 races per event, taking place at Sepang International Circuit in Malaysia (Round 1 – March 8-10 and Round 6 – September 19-22), The Bend Motorsport Park in Australia (Round 2 – April 25-28), Chang International Circuit in Thailand (Round 3 – May 31-June 2 and Round 7 – November 29-December 1), Suzuka Circuit in Japan (Round 4 – June 28-30) and Korea International Circuit in South Korea (Round 5 – August 9-11).
Troy and TJ Alberto
Also announced at the press con was TJ Alberto’s wildcard participation in the second round of the World Superbike Championship’s Supersport 600 class in Thailand in March 15-17, replacing Rob Hartog of Team Hartog-Against Cancer who is injured. To the amazement of the motoring media, TJ’s younger brother Troy also shared that he will be a wildcard participant in the Supersport 600 category of the ARRC’s first round in Malaysia. Access Plus also announced that they will soon distribute Essenza products.