The 2018 Bennetts British Superbike Championship heads north of the border to Knockhill for its one and only visit of the year to Scotland this weekend with the Be Wiser Ducati Team of Glenn and Andrew Irwin looking to impress.
Three weeks ago at Snetterton, 28-year-old Carrickfergus ace Glenn Irwin maintained his championship challenge with a superb podium on the factory-backed Be Wiser Ducati Panigale R for Paul Bird’s Lake District-based team to hold fifth place in the current standings.
Having set a career first BSB pole position, Glenn was confident of taking victory in the second race of the day down in Norfolk but a coming together with rival Brad Ray scuppered his chances so he’s aiming to clinch his first win of the year to add to his two podiums.
Knockhill wasn’t kind to the Ulsterman last year when he crashed in practice sustaining serious arm and shoulder injuries which halted his challenge for last year’s crown, which was won for a sixth time by team-mate Shane ‘Shakey’ Byrne.
With Shakey still on the sidelines through injury sustained in a testing accident back in May, the second Be Wiser Ducati Panigale R will once again be ridden by the younger Irwin brother, 23-year-old Andrew, also from Carrickfergus in County Antrim.
Andrew’s first ride at Snetterton didn’t go to plan when he crashed out early on after impressing in qualifying, but with a solid top ten placing in race two from the back of the grid, he’s hoping for an improvement, following on a successful test at the Fife racetrack recently.
Glenn Irwin: “Every time I throw my leg over the Be Wiser Ducati I feel increasingly confident. The speed seems to be there of late and I believe I’m only going to get stronger. I’m heading to Knockhill to end Leon Haslam’s domination and secure our first victory of the season, nothing less is acceptable. We showed at Snetterton we had the pace to run at the front and it was very frustrating not to come away with better results but that’s in the past now and I’m focusing only on Knockhill this weekend.”
Andrew Irwin: “Knockhill is a track I’ve always enjoyed riding at and had good results in the past there in Supersport and with the new surface it is even more fun. I got my first taste of the Be Wiser Ducati at Knockhill a few weeks ago so I know what to expect and how to ride it better now. I think we will have improved a lot from the times we did at the test. I’m really looking forward to the weekend, I feel good and as always, I’ll go there with a calm, open mind and learn as much as possible on Friday and Saturday to get the best possible positions come Sunday. It would be great to get inside the top ten again.”
There is live action on Eurosport and on the Eurosport player throughout the weekend with Datatag Qualifying on Saturday from 16.00 and the Bennetts BSB races live on Sunday at 13.30 and 16.30. Highlights on ITV4 will be shown on Wednesday evening at 20.00.
Pictures (courtesy Double Red) Glenn Irwin (2) and Andrew Irwin (18)
Notes to Editors:
Paul Bird Motorsport (PBM) are winners of over 180 races in British Superbike Championship, MotoGP CRT, World Superbike Championship, 125cc, 250cc, Supersport British Championships, Superstock National Championships, Isle of Man TT, North West 200, Daytona, Macau GP, and British domestic races. Points scorers in 125cc, 250cc and 500cc GPs. Points scorers in World Supersport, podium finishers in WSB, Superpole winners in World Superbike. They are based at Langwathby near Penrith in Cumbria.