Irwin: By the end of the season, I can beat Shakey

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Be Wiser PBM Ducati newcomer Glenn Irwin says that he’s confident that he’ll be able to run at the front of the MCE British Superbike championship next year in his debut year – and says that beating four-time champion and teammate Shane Byrne may not even be out of the chance come the end of the year.

“Shakey and I are at totally opposite ends of our careers – he’s nearer the end and I’m nearer the beginning. I’ll be able to learn a lot off him, but at the same time, I normally go well when I move up a class.

“Mossey and McConnell had a year on me last year in supersport and I was beating them by the end of the season – and they’ve both been getting good results this year without being riding for PBM! I really believe that I can get on top of Shakey at some point next year. Maybe not at the start of the year, but if both riders that I was able to beat can do it, why can’t I?”

Moreover, the 24-year-old says that he’s supremely confident in the abilities of the PBM team. The team have a long history with the Italian marque, with Byrne’s 2003 BSB title on the venerable 998 machine joined by British Superbike and Supersport championships for Steve Hislop and Stuart Easton, under the Monstermob colours.

And, with factory bikes and a close link to the Bologna factory, Irwin is insistent that the package will be competitive.

“The bikes should be brilliant. You only need to look at how competitive Hopkins has been – and he hasn’t ridden in two years before jumping on it. He’s still as fast as he’s ever been, and that’s on a non-factory Ducati – and how good is ours going to be?! I haven’t had a two-year layoff with injury, and neither has Shakey!

“Plus, it’s PBM – they’ve changed manufacturers before and they don’t get it wrong. You only need to go to see their workshop; you get your eyes opened – it’s like a Formula One team! “

Simon Patterson

By Simon Patterson

MotoGP and road racing reporter, photographer, videographer