“I feel like I was really born for motorcycles,” said Reghis “RG” Romero V.
After two long years of not being able to race, Romero V showed why.
Riding a Panigale V4 Base with full Ohlins Suspension, the former Pirelli Cup Heavyweight A overall champion and Philippine Super Bikes Rookie of the Year celebrated his much-awaited comeback by ruling the novice class of the PSBK Championship at the Clark International Speedway on Father’s Day.
Highlighted by his fastest laptime of 1:57.343 on the final race of the ninth lap, Romero announced his triumphant return with victories in Legs 1 and 2 of the PSBK, not to mention a title romp in the Ducati Cup Expert Class Leg 1.
After dominating the first three races with laptimes of 1:59.170, Romero had a bad take off and had to start the race at the back of the grid Sunday, trailing the leader Jacq Buncio by as much as 10 seconds.
“On the fifth lap, I noticed I was getting closer to her with every lap so I pushed myself to catch her. On the ninth lap, we were only .200s of a second apart and I knew I had to catch her, and I did! After that I broke away until the 10th and final lap and won the PSBK novice class, first and second leg of the Pirellis PSBK Championship,” said the ecstatic Romero, who had to hurdle several challenges along the way.
“I knew this will be the most challenging as I will be joining four races on Saturday and another four on Sunday with a total of 44 laps the entire weekend. The races I was joining were the Ducati Cup Expert Class and PSBK Novice Class Qualifying. The time trial was on Friday and I had issues with electronics during my first lap. I had to ride the motorcycle like the old days with no abs, no traction, no quick shift, but still managed to be second in my class with the time 2:01.455, half a second slower than first place (Buncio),” Romero revealed.
“I want to thank my team, Club 200, MotoGarage Performance, Ducati Philippines, R-II Builders, Inc. Prime Homes, Gabby and Santi Clothing, Lenvoisa Construction, and lastly my riding coach, Coach Joey Storm Rivero of Zero2Podium. But Most especially, I would like to thank God for giving me the opportunity and strength to race despite the pandemic,” Romero said.
The 27-year-old Romero started racing in the 2015 Pirelli Cup, but stopped after breaking his collarbone following an accident at the Clark International Speedway. Romero did not race for three years as he got married to Hanna Romero and had kids Reghis Gabriel Romero VI (4 years old) and Reginauld Santiago Romero (2 years old). He ended his sabbatical from racing in 2019 and immediately made an impact as he became the 2019 Pirelli Cup Heavyweight A overall champion and 2019 PSBK Rookie of the Year.
“2020 was the year I wanted to prove that I was not just the top rookie of 2019, but the future of Philippine superbikes. However, 2020 was a tough year for everyone as it was the start of the pandemic,” said Romero, who because of the long layoff of inactivity and prolonged lockdowns, gained weight and lost strength.
“I was not prepared at all to race. But five days before the race weekend, I talked to my wife and she agreed for me to race. Sabi nya, ‘me allowing you to race is my Father’s Day gift for you,” said Romero in revealing the message of his wife Hanna, currently seven months pregnant with a baby girl.
There won’t be a long layoff this time around for Romero, who races again on August 8 and 9 at Clark International Speedway. He vows to be ready as “I know my opponents will be ready as ever to try to beat me.”
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