TROY Alberto, the youngest Filipino racer of Ducati Philippines, continued the racing team's hot streak on the race track by ruling the final race of the Philippine Superbike Nationals that concluded last weekend at the Batangas Racing Circuit.
Alberto, 16, won the Expert Class and Intermediate Class of the opening round of the Philippine Superbike Championships 2017 Season. He was followed into the checkered flag by older sibling TJ, who was the first-ever Filipino to race at the Italian Superbike Nationals. BMW’s Marvin Mangulabanan took third spot.
The victories capped months of preparation for the Albertos. Troy focused on testing new race lines and getting more seat time on his Ducati Panigale around the challenging BRC Track while TJ raced in the premier class of the Campionato Italiano Velocite or the Italian Superbike Nationals, where he was recruited to race for Italian Championship Team MotoCorsa.
Their training paid off with their performance during qualifying sessions of the PSBK Saturday as TJ posted the second fastest lap at 1’33” lap followed by Troy with a 1’34”, putting both Ducati Riders start at the front row with BMW Motorrad’s Marvin Mangulabanan at pole.
Race 1 saw both Ducati Panigales’ of TJ and Troy rocketing out of the grid followed by BMW’s Mangulabnan. The elder Alberto took the early lead pushing a gap between him and his younger brother’s Panigale towing the S1000RR of Marvin hot on his rear wheel, while both 2-time national champions Watanabe and Resuello of Kawasaki were almost half a second behind.
TJ took the checkered flag as Troy lowsided and crashed out at Turn 3 during lap 5 while battling with Mangulabnan during exchanges of position. The crash placed Mangulabnan in contention for a battle for first but eventually fell short.
The Ducati CIV Rider just kept getting faster and smoother, causing Marvin to push harder to catch up and gain position, getting him into a hot corner that caused his tires to slide out and crash at turn 5 at the last lap of the first heat of the race.
Both Ducati’s again took the lead at start of Race 2, but this time with the younger Alberto in front followed by TJ and Mangulabnan. The younger Alberto, though, put on a smooth consistent fast ride using the Panigale’s power and placed a gap between him and his brother.
Electronic problems on TJ’s bike allowed Mangulabnan to move ahead, but the younger Alberto crossed the line first with almost half a second gap, making him the fastest, youngest Filipino expert racer to win the race at the Philippine Superbike Championships.
The 16-year-old rider stood atop the podium of the PSBK Expert Class and Intermediate group, while his brother TJ bagged third place in the same division and second at the Open and Intermediate Class.