Carrick’s Andrew Irwin has vowed to ‘give my all’ after being drafted into the PBM Be Wiser Ducati team as a replacement for the injury-hit Shane Byrne in the Bennetts British Superbike Championship.
Irwin will join his brother Glenn on the factory-supported Panigale R machines as the series resumes this weekend at Snetterton.
The 23-year-old is set to test the bike for the first time at the Knockhill test in Scotland, which got under way on Monday.
Six-time champion Byrne suffered serious injuries in a crash at the official BSB test at Snetterton in May, ruling the Londoner out of action for the foreseeable future.
Irwin, who finished as the runner-up in the British Supersport Championship in 2017 on the Gearlink Kawasaki, has been contesting the World Supersport Championship this year with the CIA Landlord Insurance Honda team, earning his best result wit a strong tenth place at Donington Park last month.
Irwin said: “To be given an opportunity with one of the best teams in the paddock is amazing and I can’t thank everyone at PBM and Be Wiser Ducati enough. This is going to be a very steep learning curve but one which doesn’t daunt me, as I know with everyone’s help it will be made a lot easier, and who better to have on the other side of the garage than my big brother!
“I’ll give it my all and hope the results reflect the effort I’ll be putting in. I’d like to wish ‘Shakey’ well in his recovery and I’ll do my best to keep the seat warm for him.”
Johnny Mowatt, PBM Team Co-ordinator, said Byrne fully supported the decision to replace him.
“The last thing we wanted or indeed expected to be doing was to find another rider in place of Shakey, but we have a responsibility to Ducati, whom we are very proud to represent, as well as our valued sponsors and the series organisers to field two riders where possible.
“Andrew knows the team and will fit in well despite his lack of experience, which is where Glenn’s help and guidance will be so valuable moving forwards.
“Shakey is still an integral part of our team and, being the professional he is, he fully understands the situation and supports the decision to bring Andrew in at this time.”