Do the names Marvin Mangulabnan, Raniel Resuello, Dashi Watanabe and the brother Troy and TJ Alberto ring a bell? These are ace Pinoy riders who are familiar in the Philippine Superbike Championship (PSBK).
These are the guys who have been raking in championship titles in the past years racing between two race tracks only in the country. It’s fantastic but serious at the same time. They can’t help but wonder if there is a future in superbike racing for them being profession highly talented racers.
TJ finished battling with the world’s best in the European Superstock 1000, but many Pinoy racers are confined to their local racing scenes due to lack of support because man you need deep pockets to participate in this thrilling motorsport. However, motorsports organizers are worried because they don’t want to lose these young and talented riders or have their talents driven to the ground.
The Asia Road Racing Championship (ARRC) and International Motorcycling Federation sanctioned a regional motorcycle racing event giving a ray of hope to the talented Pinoy superbike racers. In a Yamaha event held in Jakarta, ARRC officials announced that the 1000cc superbike class would be started in this year’s season. The director of Two Wheels Motor Racing Sdn Bhd says they have held meetings with all stakeholders in the Asian motorcycle industry and they believe it is time to finally turn the Asian superbike class to reality.
The ARRC is considering a launching pad for the outstanding riders in the Asia Pacific who aspire to race in world racing events including MotoGP and the FIM Superbike World Championship. The technical specifications for the new class follows the FIM SuperStock regulations. ARRC official cited these two reasons for introducing the superbike category:
1. There is a fast-growing market for more powerful motorbikes in the region
2. To unite the various motorcycle races in Pacific Asia to help produce riders who can compete in global motorcycle events.
The ARRC hopes that the significant motorcycle manufacturers especially the Big Four Japanese brands will be ‘all in’ in the Superbike category. Yamaha Philippines, Inc. tested the waters by supporting two Pinoys McKinley Kyle Paz and Fernando Masato in the previous rounds of the ARRC as wild card entries.
Currently, the ARRC has three racing categories:
• Underbone 150cc which is the most popular
• Asia production 250cc
• Super Sport 600ccc
Kyle finished 2nd in the Underbone 150cc in Australia with the series having lined up six rounds of racing from February to December. The racing venues include the Suzuka Circuit in Japan, The Bend Motorsports Park in Australia, Chang International Racing Circuit in Thailand, Sentul Circuit in Indonesia and Madras Motor Race Track in India and the finals round of the racing season goes back to Chang International Racing Circuit.
The ARRC broadcasts live in Malaysia, Indonesia, and Thailand and a race official said there would be two more countries to help promote the ARRC. The ARRC officials quickly acknowledged the participation of Yamaha in the much-anticipated opening season for the Superbike category.
Yamaha is serious in this with its new YZF-R1 20th-anniversary edition loaded for the battle royale with the other 1,000cc racing bikes in the ARRC opening salvo superbike event.