Andrew Irwin will join brother Glenn in the Be Wiser PBM Ducati squad for the fourth round of the 2018 Bennetts British Superbike Championship at Snetterton this weekend.
The move comes after six-time British Superbike champion Shane Byrne’s crash at the official Snetterton test last month, in which he sustained a number of serious injuries and is set to be out of action for the foreseeable future.
Irwin, a former British Supersport championship contender, will be making his Superbike debut this weekend, fresh from Brno where he was competing with the CIA Landlords Insurance PTR Honda squad in the World Supersport Championship.
It’s understood he’ll get a first taste of the Be Wiser Ducati Panigale R in a test at Knockhill today.
“To be given an opportunity with one of the best teams in the paddock is amazing and I can’t thank everyone at PBM and Be Wiser Ducati enough,” Irwin said. “This is going to be a very steep learning curve but one which doesn’t daunt me, as I know with everyone’s help it will be made a lot easier, and who better to have on the other side of the garage than my big brother! I’ll give it my all and hope the results reflect the effort I’ll be putting in. I’d like to wish Shakey well in his recovery and I’ll do my best to keep the seat warm for him!”
Team co-ordinator Johnny Mowatt added: “The last thing we wanted or indeed expected to be doing was to find another rider in place of Shakey, but we have a responsibility to Ducati, whom we are very proud to represent, as well as our valued sponsors and the series organisers to field two riders where possible. Andrew knows the team and will fit in well despite his lack of experience, which is where Glenn’s help and guidance will be so valuable moving forwards. Shakey is still an integral part of our team and, being the professional he is, he fully understands the situation and supports the decision to bring Andrew in at this time.”