Irwin Brothers Team Up For Snetterton AssaultTue, 12/06/2018
After a six-week break, the 2018 Bennetts British Superbike Championship resumes at Snetterton in Norfolk this weekend with Lake District-based reigning champions Be Wiser Ducati back in action.
However, a lot has happened within Paul Bird’s team since the last outing at Oulton Park in early May where six-times and defending champion Shane ‘Shakey’ Byrne from Sittingbourne scored a podium and moved himself up to third in the standings.
Shakey was subsequently injured at the official test day at Snetterton a month ago which has ruled him out of action on the factory-backed Be Wiser Ducati Panigale R for the foreseeable future as he recovers from neck and back injuries sustained.
That means Ulsterman Glenn Irwin takes up the cudgels to lead the team whereby the 28 year old from Carrickfergus in County Antrim will be joined by his 23 year old brother Andrew who makes his BSB debut as he takes over Shakey’s ride this weekend.
Glenn, who occupies fifth in the title race after his podium finish at Brands Hatch in round two, won both Superbike races at the prestigious North West 200 since his last BSB outing, so is keen to continue that form into this weekend.
Andrew, meanwhile, who has been on World Supersport Championship duty this season, scored his best result of tenth at Donington Park aboard his CIA Landlord Insurance Honda last month so he too arrives at Snetterton in buoyant mood.
Both riders had an extensive test at Knockhill earlier this week with positive findings and whereas Glenn is expecting to be challenging for the wins at a track which Shakey has had so much success, Andrew aims to continue his transition to the Superbike following over 100 laps completed up in Scotland.
Such has been Byrne’s superiority at Snetterton in recent years, he has won eight out of the last nine races, including the last three on the Be Wiser Ducati and holding both the fastest ever laps around the ‘300’ configuration at 1:46.024 as well as the outright lap record of 1:47.143, both set last July.
Glenn Irwin: “Going into Snetterton is a different experience for me this year with my team-mate Shakey being injured. Of course, I wish Shakey all the best in his recovery, so the onus is now on me to get the results that the PBM team and Be Wiser Ducati deserve. I thrive on that level of expectation, so I’m sure I can bring another step to my performance this weekend. We had a great NW200 and a solid test at Knockhill, and with the Ducati working so well at Snetterton as we know, I’m ready for this challenge.”
Andrew Irwin: “I am really looking forward to Snetterton and I really enjoyed my first day on the bike at Knockhill on Monday. It’s going to be a steep learning curve, but I’ll chip away and learn as much as I can with working with the team to help me adjust my style to suit the Superbike. I’m under no illusion how tough it’ll be, I’ll give my best like always and enjoy the opportunity. I join Glenn in wishing Shakey a speedy recovery too and acknowledge his record around Snetterton which is awesome.”
There is live action on Eurosport and on the Eurosport player throughout the weekend with 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.