Andrew Irwin delighted with Honda deal for first full BSB season
Andrew Irwin will return to the British Superbike Championship for 2019, after announcing yesterday he will ride for Honda (UK) in what will be his first full season in the high-profile series.
Irwin joined BSB with the PBM Be Wiser Ducati team from World Supersport, deputising for the injured Shayne Byrne from the fourth round onwards last season with the 24-year old Carrickfergus rider proving a more than able deputy, He finished the season with a fine fourth position in the final round at Brands Hatch and is now looking forward to riding the CBR1000RR Honda Fireblade SP2.
Irwin said: "Honda has such a pedigree and most of the top riders in the world have ridden for them at some point in their careers.
"To be part of that racing history and heritage really excites me. Stepping straight into BSB at Snetterton in mid-June with no testing and not having ridden a Superbike before was a huge learning curve, but as the season progressed, I started to feel it all coming together so now, with Harv (Honda Racing Manager Havier Beltran) and the team I will be aiming for a Showdown spot next season, which I believe is a realistic target.
"We will have a full season and also a test programme, which I didn't have this past season and was still competitive. The aim is to run at the front and I see no reason why we can't be up there."
Beltran commented, "Andrew's talent shone through this season and it was great to watch him progress.
With a full year and our proceeding test programme I think we're going to see good things from Andrew and I'm certain that he'll be mixing it with the front group."
A second rider to join Andrew and contest the 2019 BSB championship will be announced in the next two weeks.