Motorcycle News (UK) - - Sport -

The Be Wiser Du­cati line-up will re­main un­changed next year as Glenn Irwin once again joins Shane Byrne in the team.

The Ul­ster­man en­joyed an im­pres­sive rookie cam­paign to take two podium fin­ishes this sea­son, which was enough to con­vince team boss Bird to sign him up for a sec­ond year.

“To be go­ing into a sec­ond year in Bri­tish Su­per­bikes on the same bike, with the same team is the dream,” he told MCN. “I’ve had that once be­fore in my ca­reer, with Gear­link, and it proved to be a good year, so it’s nice to have that again. We didn’t do a mega job to­wards the end of this year but I think we did an OK job be­fore that, so it’ll be nice to go into a sec­ond year and look for stronger re­sults.

“I have to aim to be in the Show­down as a min­i­mum. I’m al­ready a podium fin­isher but I want to do that more reg­u­larly next year. You need to be stand­ing out to get any­where in this game and for­tu­nately this year I did enough to make my­self stand out a bit but I need to up the game next year. You can’t just be like a reg­u­lar Bri­tish Superbike rider.

“I’m not say­ing I’m go­ing to go and beat Shakey Byrne but at the same time I don’t want to be one of those rid­ers who sort of finds their level and spends years fin­ish­ing in the same po­si­tion and get­ting the oc­ca­sional podium.”

How­ever, while Irwin’s rookie re­sults were enough to se­cure a spot in his team for next year, Paul Bird is ex­pect­ing a marked im­prove­ment from the 26-year-old in 2017.

“We’re giv­ing Glenn an­other shot as he’s done an all right job, but it’s now time to push on,” Bird said. “He’s rid­ing the best bike on the grid, and it’s just won the cham­pi­onship, so in year two we’ll be ex­pect­ing re­sults!”

‘I did enough to make my­self stand out but next year I re­ally need to up my game’ GLENN IRWIN

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