Roads: Irwin to return to North West with Be Wiser Ducati

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Northern Ireland’s MCE British Superbike star Glenn Irwin will return to the North West 200 this year with his Be Wiser Paul Bird Ducati team.

Irwin will compete in both superbike races aboard his British championship-spec Panigale R, which he took to the podium in the opening round of the 2017 season at Donington Park last weekend.

The Carrickfergus rider made his debut at the north coast event in 2015, where he instantly mixed it with the frontrunners in the supersport category on the Gearlink Kawasaki.

“I’m a road racer and it’s great to have the opportunity to race in front of my home crowd again,” he smiled.

“I really want to do the North West again because I loved the place when I first raced there. It really makes me smile to think about it all so I hope when people hear this news they will have a smile on their face too.”


Irwin impressed with a strong performance at Donington Park last year, taking his third BSB rostrum and is convinced there’s more to come from him and the Be Wiser Ducati.

“I was brand new to superbike racing last year so I focused on finding my feet with that challenge. Donington was probably my best weekend in the championship to date and we will have some new components arriving before the next round at Brands which will give us more power and better grip. That will be good for the short circuits and for the North West. We’ve made no secret of the fact the bike was a handful to ide last year but now we can come to the North West on a bike that is working brilliantly.”

Having mixed it at the front in 2015, Irwin is keen to return to the sharp end on the famous triangle course.

“When I first raced at the North West I learnt what it was like to run at the front but not what it was like to win,” he explained. “Maybe I’m not the favourite to win a superbike race yet but that’s not how I see it and I go racing to win. It is going to be some craic.” 

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Oli Rushby

By Oli Rushby

Former sports reporter covering British Superbikes, World Superbikes and road racing