Glenn Irwin remains with PBM Be Wiser Ducati for 2018

Glenn Irwin will again ride in the British Superbike Championship in 2018 for the PBM Be Wiser Ducati team.
Glenn Irwin will again ride in the British Superbike Championship in 2018 for the PBM Be Wiser Ducati team.

Northern Ireland’s Glenn Irwin will remain in Paul Bird’s PBM Be Wiser Ducati team for a third year in 2018.

Carrickfergus man Irwin, who claimed his maiden MCE British Superbike victory last weekend at Silverstone on the Panigale R, won the feature Superbike race at the North West 200 in May at his first attempt.

Carrick man Glenn Irwin won his maiden British Superbike race this season at Silverstone.

Carrick man Glenn Irwin won his maiden British Superbike race this season at Silverstone.

Shane ‘Shakey’ Byrne also remains in the team next season as he enters the second year of his current two-year contract.

Irwin said: "I had some good interest but all I wanted is to stay with PBM. Paul has been good to me this year, especially through the tough couple of months with the injury.

"I’ve had plenty of support and no pressure even through a period where my results were pretty horrific. It’s nice to have that belief in me and I feel that puts me into a strong position ahead of next year.”

Team owner Paul Bird said Irwin had demonstrated his talent despite his injury setback.

“We offered a two-year deal to Shakey and this is our commitment to honouring that as he continues to be a class act in BSB. Glenn has also shown what a talent he is and despite his injuries, he’s had a great season for us.

“We wanted to be the first team to commit to the series for 2018 and continue with the great team we have. We can now concentrate all our efforts on doing our best to win the 2017 British Superbike Championship.”

The Showdown phase of the British Superbike Championship commences this weekend at Oulton Park, when Irwin has vowed to do all he can to help team-mate Byrne clinch the title.

His own prospects of making the final top six were dealt a hammer blow earlier in the season after he sustained serious arm and shoulder injuries in a crash at Knockhill, but Irwin has still shown enough to convince Bird to keep him on board for 2018.

Irwin is set to return to the Macau Grand Prix in November and is also likely to defend his NW200 Superbike crown at the North West 200 next May on the PBM Ducati.