The Alberto racing family featured in Asia Motorsport Hour
Date posted on April 2, 2021
Last night, the only international Filipino superbike racing team to compete in 2020 was featured on the 1 hour online show of the Asia Road Racing Championships (ARRC).
Hosted by ARRC commentator Dez Corkhill, the show put the Philippines on the racing map once again despite the ongoing pandemic.
TJ Alberto was first featured as the Rider of The Week and he spoke about his racing career and how he arrived at the international level. Highlighted were his campaigns at the national PSBK Championships, the Italian Superbike Championships, the SBK Stock1000 and, finally, in the ASB1000 class of the ARRC.
“After a full season in 2019 and a race in 2020 with Access Plus Okada Manila team, we will continue to improve on what we learned and hopefully we get on to the podium. We had struggles on the electronic side but the chassis side we already understood so we will focus on the electronics side for 2021,” TJ explained.
When asked about his two seasons in Italy and Stock1000 in the SBK he said, ” I went to Italy when I was a young rider coming from the Philippine championships. It was really an eye opener for me because the level of competition was very high. It was also a humbling experience and I learned so much!”
He also mentioned how competitive the Philippine championship is, ” It is a shame that my rivals were not given a chance to compete internationaly, probably because they were older than me. But I am really happy that we have now young racers like my brother Troy Alberto and McKinley Kyle Paz in the ARRC and a few more from the underbones.”
He ended by saying, “I’m not happy just to be a point scorer, I want to be up there fighting with the tough guys. My immediate goal is to be top 5 and then to be on the podium. I think that it will be a great achievement for me and my homebased family team.”
Next, in the In Focus segment, Access Plus Okada Manila Team was featured with Team Owner and Team Manager Toti Alberto.
ARRC was happy that the team introduced the Ducati brand to the Asia championship in 2019 with riders TJ Alberto and Jonathan Serrapica and also brought in European riders Federico Sandi and Lorenzo Zanetti. So far, the team has accumulated a total of 94 points with a 4th place finish for Zanetti in the last race of 2020.
Access Plus also fields TJ’s younger brother Troy Alberto in the SS600 class with Honda Philippines on a CBR600.
” I myself raced competitively in the Philippine Superbikes and a few ARRC races in the past. When the kids arrived I had to focus on them. Then they started racing in motocross and eventually in the Philippine superbikes. We managed to get a lot of support to go roadracing because of the boys’ talent and PR skills. Troy got into the Asia Talent Cup and TJ was able to get a ride in Italy for the Italian championship. Suddenly, we were on the world racing map! We are very happy that everything fell into place and we got the support of Ducati and Honda to do the Asia Championships,” said Toti Alberto.
” I think for a new team, to get into the top 4 is not bad at all and if we continue to perform like this I believe more sponsors and more involvement from Ducati will come to ARRC, even more Ducati teams,” he continued.
Finally, the last race of the only ARRC weekend held last March 2020 before the lockdowns, was featured in the Classic Races segment were the Ducati Panigale V4 racebike and Team Access Plus Okada Manila’s Lorenzo Zanetti finished a high of fourth for the team. He heartbreakingly lost the last podium spot to Broc Parkes only meters before the line as his Ducati sputtered across the line when it ran out of fuel.
” It is difficult on the electronics side because in Italy I race a superbike spec bike. The standard ECU on my bike now is very difficult and there is a big gap to the Yamahas and BMWs. But if it stays dry, I think we can fight for the podium,” said Zanetti on the grid before the start.
“That was really sad. We tried to conserve fuel because during practice we were at the limit in fuel. For 2021 we are hopingbon getting new electronics to get us on to the podium. But we are still happy because we have an all stock V4R bike and we almost got onto the podium,” said a mixed feeling Toti Alberto.