TST Industries has been shaking up the sport bike parts industry since 2007 with their innovative products, top notch installation videos, personalized service, and desire to keep raising the bar. TST continues to up their game in all areas of their business so it comes as no surprise that they have begun forging a presence in racing as well with dramatic track battles and countless podium finishes already under their belt. The TST team consists of several riders but one in particular, Alex Ferreira, has quickly become one of the most notable, progressing quickly and putting it on the box as often as he enters races. TST Owner and President, Bart Rogowski, recognized Ferreira’s talent as an opportunity for new innovation, creativity, and some serious fun; and thus began the now famous R3 Superbike project.
It all started in 2018 when Bart came up with the idea to build an unparalleled 300cc superbike on the Yamaha R3 platform. The very concept sent haters straight to trollville as they took to the internet to express their unfounded opinions on why an R3 could never and would never be a superbike. This fueled the engineers at TST who sprang into action with a hardcore “challenge accepted” mentality. They spared no time or expense while building this exotic race package and decided to capture the progress on video. This led to the highly viewed TST Industries Superbike R3 Build series on YouTube which became a success in and of itself.
What some viewers may not have realized is that TST actually built two bikes in parallel. One was the supersport trim of the R3 which had fewer drastic modifications in order to keep it tech legal for the SS classes. This R3 was Alex’s training bike designed to ultimately get him on the superbike. It also served as a benchmark of performance for analysis purposes in the superbike project. Most people just look at peak horsepower, torque values, and maybe the vehicle weight to judge its performance. TST knew they needed a better system for evaluating the progress which is why a benchmark bike was necessary for a ride-along analysis. Another very important metric that is used to judge overall performance is the capability to win races. The servicing of the machine and being able to change parts quickly in the pits are crucial factors to consider. The approach with this build was to make a solid platform that outperforms anything else on the race grids. Performance increases were executed for peak power output, power density, total power delivery over rev range, rider ergonomics, direction changes, overall handling, braking, and pit performance, among many others. For Alex, the goal was the get him to extend his range of capability on the SS trim while riding at a performance disadvantage, and then give him the SB machine that is superior in every measurable way.
It was time to put it all to the test at the CCS/ASRA races at Daytona Speedway this last March. The supersport bike was retired and Alex finally got to take his shot with the superbike. It took some time to find a synergistic set up but once they did, they began to see just how effective the taboo superbike really was in the field it was racing against. Alex was able to stay ahead of nearly everyone on the grid. The only challenge posed was a 250cc two-stroke GP machine that gave him a run for his money. Unfortunately a piston ring failure threw a wrench into things after Alex set the pole for the following day’s race. TST was faced with the decision to throw in the towel or take the bike back to the shop, open up the motor, hone out the cylinders, install new piston rings, and take another shot. Naturally, they chose the latter. They worked late into the night and had the bike ready for Alex the next morning.
Even though the March event was riddled with equipment problems, a crash, and some bad weather, TST walked away knowing they would have a solid platform with Ferreira piloting this incredibly capable machine. They set their sights on the Race of Champions at Daytona International Speedway in October. They went into the event knowing they could take the win with a conservative and precise approach. The entire TST team was unleashed on prepping the bike for this event. Bart did some last minute changes on the Dyno in the TST WORX facility that yielded a more stable configuration for the SB motor while giving up only a small amount of peak motor output. Eric came up with the new geometry numbers to better suit Alex’s riding style. The team came together as a deliberate and well-oiled machine, and paved the way to success.
Race weekend arrived and a few practice sessions had the TST team brimming with excitement to see this one of kind R3 superbike finally locked into place. Alex brought his A-game to race day and after some intense battles on the track, the months of intricate work, late nights, and painstakingly tuning this bike to perfection paid off as Alex brought the bike to victory in the ASRA Moto3 championship race. We sat down with Alex to get his thoughts on how this all unfolded.
Alex Ferreira: “Even though it was a victory, this race was a tough one! Most of the race was a battle between me and MotoAmerica rider, Cameron Jones. I felt I couldn’t get traction coming off the corners so I thought that Cameron would make some good ground on me. Every time I peeked back I could see him maybe 5 or 6 bike lengths behind me. I felt like he was making me do all the work and was going to wait until the last lap to use my draft to get by me. We got side by side on lap 5 and I thought maybe I could hang back and let him pass by me. It seemed like he was thinking the same thing though so I just gave it hell on the last lap! I made a mistake through the international horseshoe and I thought he had closed in and was just waiting to pounce. I was waiting for him to pass me on the tri oval but I was able to hold him off and in the end, it all worked out. We raced to the stripe with less than a second separating us and I managed to hold onto 1st. It was intense and exhausting but I learned so much and just had a blast. There was so much that went into making this happen. First and foremost I would like to thank Bart at TST Industries. He put so much time and effort into this machine and this program. There were so many long days and late nights and hours spent on the Dyno. I can’t thank him enough for giving me the opportunity to ride for this fantastic shop. The entire TST family – it’s been an honor and a privilege to represent you guys. I also want to thank Derek from Stickboy Racing for all of the stickies throughout the year as well as the guys from Precision Lawn Care of Orlando for taking care of our properties so I can come out here and do what I love.”
Right now the TST Industries Superbike R3 holds several track records, many podium finishes, a few wins, and now a national championship. It’s safe to say the trolls have quieted down at least a little. TST has made it clear that the primary purpose behind this R&D program is the trickle-down effect of technology that will soon be available to customers through their WORX program. They will be featuring bolt-on components and packages that were designed using the knowledge gained in the building of the R3 race bikes. These components will be an easy way to get extra performance out of your bike with proven results backing each part. There will also be package setups that won’t require splitting the motor case to get significant results.
We asked Bart what his plans are with the R3 and what we can expect to see out of the TST superbike in the future.
Bart Rogowski: “We definitely have some new things in the works that we’ll share when the time is right. I have preliminary plans for the R3 that include further reducing its mass through subframe modification and replacing the hefty OE steel fuel tank with a custom built aluminum fuel cell. I am also considering building a ram air system with the addition of a higher flow fuel pump to allow for more horsepower and torque gain at speed. I’m regularly working with our engineers to see what other fun stuff we can come up with! As always, we’ll share our process with our fans and customers when the time comes but for now, I’d really like to thank some of the people that helped make this build and this race season happen. Our sponsors, Motolister.com and Dalcorp Enterprises, for providing us with so many resources over the years. I have so much gratitude for our entire TST Industries staff and all of their contributions and efforts. These are the guys that keep the business going day after day and make things like this championship a possibility. You ALL earned this win. Other companies who helped make this happen include TechSpec, Womet.Tech, Core Moto, and Yoshimura. Thank you all for the countless ways you support TST Industries. We’ll see you out on the track!”