IRWIN GETS SECOND CHANCE
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