Mangulabnan too much for superbike field
Reigning Superbike champion Marvin Mangulabnan showed just too much class as he ruled the kickoff leg of the 2019 Petron National Motorcycle Racing Championships virtually unchallenged at the Batangas Racing Circuit in Rosario, Batangas, recently.
Mangulabnan thundered around the 3.7-kilometer track in the 11-lap final in 17 minutes and 31.611 seconds on his brute BMW S1000RR, capping off a big weekend that also saw him top the season’s first time trial and prefinal races of the six-leg Pirelli Philippine Superbike Championships.
Now racing for Team Alpinestars MM189, the 2016 and 2018 national champion posted the quickest lap time of 1:34.351 before checking home a huge 29.088 seconds clear of former titleholder Dashi Watanabe on an Aprilia RSV4 of Team WRD Bikerbox and 1:13.705 minutes ahead of third-placer Pocholo Panlilio on a Ducati V4.
Josh Tan wound up 1:29.997 off Mangulabnan and Rod Valdez followed in fifth (1:47.501 off) to round out the podium finishers.
Panlilio settled for the leg’s Intermediate class title over Valdez (fifth overall) and BJ Ang (seventh), with Josh Tan (fourth) clinching the Novice plum, Darwin Macaraeg (sixth) topping the Rookie class, John Defensor (eighth) winning the Masters race and Jason Park (11th) besting the rest of the Expert field.
In the chief side races, Tracy Soyangco swept the Pirelli Cup’s seven-lap Race 1 over Matthew Ramos and Paul Mark Doblada in 13:50.608 and Race 2 over Ralph Kenneth Torralba and Doblada in 11:42.602 in Group 2.
Bengie Gualberto seized top honors in Group 1’s eight-lap Race 1 in 15:21.846 over Ian Ordonez and Macaraeg, with Macaraeg coming back to top Race 2 in 14:01.142 over Gualberto and Antonio Cruz Jr.
Ang timed 10:42.143 and pipped John Defensor and RG Romero in the six-lap Ducati Cup race among entries with Ducati machines. Tony Cruz and Richard Pagsinuhin followed them in that order.