MOTORBIKES: Former Larne Grammar pupil Irwin delighted to make Superbike switch

Glenn Irwin will join Shane Byrne in the PBM Team for the 2016  British Superbike season. INLT 43-908-CON
Glenn Irwin will join Shane Byrne in the PBM Team for the 2016 British Superbike season. INLT 43-908-CON

Former Larne Grammar School pupil Glenn Irwin was unveiled as Shane Byrne’s team-mate in the Paul Bird Motorsport / Be Wiser Ducati team for the 2016 British Superbike Championship at last weekend’s final round of the series at Brands Hatch.

It was like all his Christmas presents came early this year when he was told of the deal. It marks his first steps on to the Superbike stage and what an opportunity he has been given joining one of the best set-ups in the UK.

In his debut season he will be on board the fully factory supported Ducati Panigale R which will see a return to the marque whereby Steve Hislop and Shane Byrne both claimed British Superbike Championships for the Italian company under the MonsterMob Ducati branding in the early 2000s.

Irwin, 25, is a triple Irish champion and former British Supersport Cup champion, finishing this year’s British Supersport Championship in fourth place.

He joins forces with the most successful British Superbike rider in recent history, Shane Byrne, who will surely be a massive influence on the new arrival.

Glenn said: “This is a great opportunity for me and I couldn’t be joining a better team. Before the 2016 season gets under way, the team have already put in place a test schedule for me to get used to the all-new Ducati and I can’t wait to get started.”

The team will waste no time in getting up to speed as they test in Valencia immediately after Brands Hatch with a heavy winter testing schedule thereafter.

Paul Bird, Team Owner, said: “Glenn is a rider I’ve had my eye on for a while and is a huge talent so now is the time to step up to a Superbike and I’ve every confidence in his ability.”

Rea wraps up World Championship campaign

Jonathan Rea ended his championship winning World Superbike campaign with a second place and then his first DNF of what was otherwise an almost perfect season.

He finished with a final championship winning advantage of 132 points.

Jonathan said: “I gave 200 per cent in race one and I can’t thank my guys enough because they worked hard to give me a really good bike.”

He added: “I am a bit gutted I missed out on the second race because it looked like a fun race to be part of!”