While the Philippines watches McKinley Kyle Paz break onto the international arena with bated breath, another international racer has decided to focus on races at home instead.
Asia Road Racing Championship (ARRC) Asia Superbike (ASB) 1000 bet, TJ Alberto and the Access Plus team, will be competing in the Philippine Superbike Racing Championship beginning June 19 - 20 at the Clark International Speedway. The series will also run at the venue in early August and finish with Rounds 5 and 6 in October.
The decision was made in the wake of the FIM’s postponement of the start of the 2021 FIM Asia Road Racing Championship season. Teams and riders raised concerns over the health and well-being of the community with the rising COVID-19 cases in Asia. The first round was scheduled to be held on June 4-6 at the Sepang International Circuit.
“The FIM Asia supports the decision of the FIM Asia Road Racing Championship to defer the start of the 2021 season. While it is certainly disappointing, it is always preferable to err on the side of caution. Please look forward to the release of a new 2021 calendar soon,” said Stephan Carapiet, President, FIM Asia.
With this news, TJ and the entire team remain optimistic of a return to the ARRC as soon as it is possible. In the meantime, the objective is to optimize track time and win the National series in the Philippines.
Coronavirus cases in the Philippines, by contrast, are on the downtrend, prompting easing of restrictions and allowing racing to resume once again.
“Given the current situation and the fact that we cannot start yet the Asia Road Racing Championship the team has decided to enter the local series of the Philippines,” said TJ Alberto. “It will be great to be back on track and to be racing again as it’s always good to race as it’s the best form of practice. Nothing prepares you more for racing than racing. It will be a little bit of a different challenge as it will be my first time back on Pirelli tires after two years as we run Dunlop in ARRC. It will also be my first full season in the Philippine championship since 2017! I am really looking forward to it, there is no pressure on me but of course the target is to get some good results, starting this weekend with some good points on the board. I want to say a big thank you to all of our sponsors without whom we wouldn’t be able to compete. They have stood by me, and I want to repay them with the title.”