BSB: Glenn Irwin joins PBM Ducati for 2023 season

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Glenn Irwin will make a surprise return to the PBM Ducati team next season as he targets his maiden Bennetts British Superbike Championship crown.

Irwin has spent the last three seasons with Honda Racing UK and was expected to remain with the Louth-based squad in 2023. The Northern Irishman was the top scorer during the Showdown and ended his campaign 21 points behind Bradley Ray after taking five wins and 10 podiums throughout the year.

  • Pick up a copy of this week’s MCN for an exclusive interview with Glenn Irwin about his move to PBM Ducati.

However, Irwin has opted to reunite with Paul Bird and will line-up on a factory-spec Ducati Panigale V4R alongside Tommy Bridewell next season. It’ll be Irwin’s second stint with the team, after spending three seasons with PBM between 2016-2018.

“Re-joining PBM after four years apart is something I’m relishing as I feel I’ve improved as a rider and as a person during that time,” Irwin said. “The experience away has taught me a lot and to be coming back to the most successful team in the paddock is a fantastic opportunity. I’m in a stronger position now and we both know how each other works so the timing is perfect.

“I want to win, and Birdy wants to win and with Tommy as a very strong teammate, it will drive us all on. I’ve proved I can challenge for the title this year, so the plan is to go one better next season.” 

Glenn Irwin wins ahead of Josh Brookes and John Hopkins for PBM at Silverstone in 2016

During his first spell with PBM Ducati, Irwin won two BSB races and finished third overall in 2018. Irwin also won for the team at the North West 200 and Macau Grand Prix, two events which the team hope to compete in next year.

The move does however mean that Irwin will not compete at the Isle of Man TT. Irwin became the fastest-ever newcomer at the TT in 2022, posting a 129.849mph lap on the Honda Fireblade.

“With Glenn joining Tommy, I think we have an unbelievable line up for 2023 with the riders that finished second and third in this year’s championship,” Team Owner Paul Bird added.

“It’s great to have Glenn back as we have had a lot of success together in the past and he’s probably left what I would regard as one of the best, if not the best, team in the paddock to come to us. After a disappointing season for PBM, it will be good to be back at the sharp end.”

Bird will be hoping that the signings of Bridewell and Irwin will bring success back to his team after a tough 2022. The eight-time BSB champions missed out on the Showdown for the first time since its introduction in 2010, with Tom Sykes’ double win at Donington Park being their only podium appearances.

Josh Brookes has moved to FHO Racing BMW, whilst Sykes is expected to make a return to the World Superbike Championship.

Pick up a copy of this week’s MCN for an exclusive interview with Glenn Irwin about his move to PBM Ducati.