Belfast Telegraph

Irwin pledges more success after securing Ducati ride

By Paul Lindsay

Glenn Irwin, a recent winner of the Sunflower Trophy, will remain in the BeWiser PBM Ducati factory-supported British Superbike team for a second season, it was revealed yesterday, where he will again partner five-time BSB champion Shane 'Shakey' Byrne.

Irwin had a strong rookie season in the British Superbike Championship, taking a debut podium at Thruxton, and despite recent speculation that he may get replaced by World Superbike star Davide Giugliano for 2017, the popular Ulsterman has retained his prized spot on the team.

Speaking to the Carrick ace after his three Superbike wins at the Sunflower, Irwin said: "I spoke to (PBM team owner) Paul (Bird) after the final British Superbike round at Brands Hatch and got a verbal agreement, but when you hear all this other speculation it makes you nervous.

"I know we can do an even better job in 2017 as the Ducati was a new bike not just to me this season, but also the team.

"We now have data we can refer to and with a year's experience in Superbike and also getting a second year on the same bike will be a big plus for me."

Irwin will finish his season by making his debut at the Macau Grand Prix in the Far East later this month.

The 26-year-old is looking forward to his debut at the Armco-lined Guia circuit, where local team Tyco BMW will field 14-time Isle of Man TT winner Ian Hutchinson.

Reigning champion Peter Hickman will start favourite on the Bathams/SMT BMW where he will join eight-time Macau GP winner Michael Rutter and four-time winner Stuart Easton.

Rutter has actually tipped Irwin as one to watch.

He added: "He's had a great year on the Ducati in BSB and won the Sunflower.

"It would be a big ask to win on his debut but stranger things have happened."

Don't rule anything out.

Belfast Telegraph

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