The 2021 Philippine Superbike Championship (PSBK) couldn’t have ended any better for Access Plus Racing-Okada Manila with the team claiming both Rider of the Year and Masters Class titles. Timothy Joseph “TJ” Alberto won a race on Sunday on route to become champion, while his father Toti and younger brother Troy each collected 2 podiums to cap off a dominant year.
Maintaining his momentum from Round 5, TJ took another comfortable race win on Sunday morning on his purple-livered #77 Ducati Panigale V4R. More importantly, his 10th victory of the year earned him enough points to secure both the Expert Class and Rider of the Year titles with a race to spare. Troy would join him on the podium with the younger Alberto finishing Race 1 in 3rd place for Access Plus Racing-Okada Manila. Although taking a more conservative strategy to protect his Masters Class points lead, Toti still managed a top 10 finish overall and 2nd in class.
With the title now in the bag, TJ set his sights on setting yet another lap record during Race 2 that afternoon. He was successful at beating his previous best to set a blistering 1:49.538 lap around the Clark International Speedway (CIS). Unfortunately, in his haste to go even quicker, the newly-crowned champion went off track on lap 7. He would manage to remount and still take the chequered flag in 6th. This left Troy to battle it out at the front on his #69 Honda CBR1000RR. He was able to close the gap to the leader over the course of the 10 lap race and finish 2nd, which was his best result this year. Toti was able to improve on his result, wrapping up the last race of the season in 8th overall and 2nd in the Masters Class to take the class championship.
TJ’s championship win comes exactly 22 years after Toti himself won the PSBK title back in 1999, making the occasion much more important for the Alberto clan. They are also the very first father-and-son duo to win the national superbike championship in the Philippines.
TJ Alberto: “Thanking God for winning the national title with Access Plus Racing-Okada Manila. We’ve worked hard for this for a long time. I finished runner-up in 2016 and 2017, but finally we came back with such a great season to become the Rider of the Year with 10 race wins out of 12 races. It’s a great feeling to be now part of the history books and join an elite group of champion riders. Now looking forward to 2022 and go back racing in Asia.”
Troy Alberto: “So happy with the work I and the team did today taking 2 podiums. I put up a good fight in both races and defend as much as I could, but didn’t quite have the pace for the win. It was great to see the progress we made through the weekend and get closer to the front. I also want to congratulate TJ for winning the championship this year. As his brother, I’ve seen first hand all the effort he has put in to achieve this and I’m so happy for him and team.”
Toti Alberto: “Won the Masters Class and did one of my fastest qualifying laps ever. But my mind was focused on TJ all weekend. It dawned upon me that he”ll become Rider of the Year and become part of Philippine Superbike history. On top of that, we’ll also be father-and-son champions. So I just took my races easy and watched TJ while I was trying to race myself. It was a good experience and at 53 this will probably be my last season. We all did well as the team. Troy got two podiums and TJ broke the lap record yet again. Ducati riders also dominated all the classes in PSBK with RG Romero taking the title in Novice, Jake Gomez in Rookie, and myself in Masters. Our riders also won all the categories in the Pirelli Cup and it makes me really happy that Ducati was so dominant this season. Thanking the Lord for making all of this possible.”
Access Plus Racing-Okada Manila is sponsored by Okada Manila, Essenza, Macbeth, Öhlins Philippines, AELLA, Lv8, and Ducati Philippines.