The opening round of the 2018 Bennetts British Superbike championship marks the start of what is set to be a make or break season for Northern Ireland's Glenn Irwin after two up and down years in the superbike class.
Making his BSB debut with Be Wiser Ducati in 2016, Irwin has shown flashes of potential, including a race win at Silverstone last year, but a lack of consistency held him back in his first two years.
Fired up for the new season, Irwin is adamant it’s time to make his mark as he once again lines up alongside six-time BSB champion Shane Byrne.
“This year it needs to happen,” a candid Irwin told MCN. “I have to perform this year, the way I see it is I don’t want to have to go road racing for the rest of my life to put food on the table for Freddie as you don’t know how long that life might last…”
Among a number of changes for Irwin for 2018 is the introduction of double Irish Superbike champion Ryan Rainey as his crew chief, a change that already seems to have had a positive effect after testing.
“We sat down and looked at why it hasn’t happened for me in the last few years,” Irwin continued. “Yes, I was injured last year but we also highlighted a number of areas we can improve with my riding style and that’s what we’ve been working on. It’s been good so far and I’d say this is probably the best I’ve ridden the superbike, so I can’t wait to go racing now.”
For an extensive 2018 Bennetts British Superbike Championship season preview, including exclusive interviews, tech features and the Bennetts BSB grid predicting their 2018 #ShowdownSix, pick up this week's MCN.