Glenn Irwin made his debut on the JG Speedfit Kawasaki at Guadix on Wednesday as the Bennetts British Superbike rider commenced a two-day test at the Spanish circuit.
The Carrick man, third in the championship this season after competing in the Showdown for the first time, has joined the title-winning team after three seasons on the PBM Be Wiser Ducati.
Irwin was brought in as a replacement for outgoing BSB champion Leon Haslam, who will return to the World Superbike Championship in 2019 alongside Jonathan Rea in the Kawasaki Racing Team.
Although he was riding a four cylinder machine for the first time since competing at the Sunflower Trophy meeting at Bishopscourt in County Down in 2015, Irwin said he immediately felt comfortable on the Kawasaki ZX-10RR.
“It’s been really good to get onto the bike and the last time I rode a four cylinder was the Gearlink Kawasaki at the Sunflower in 2015,” said the 28-year-old, who is joined at the test by new team-mate Ben Currie.
“That was a 600, so it was very different at the beginning but I immediately felt comfortable on the bike – bike position, body position – it felt really natural.
“I have to get used to a slightly different gear pattern than where I would have been on the twin, but as the day progressed, we managed to get through a load of electronics strategies and started to play with the chassis a little bit.”
Irwin’s main priority is getting track miles under his belt during his first test with the team, which concludes today at Guadix.
He added: “Predominantly, it’s been about getting laps and I think I did nearly 80 laps, so I’m really, really happy with that and the forecast looks quite good for tomorrow (Thursday), with perhaps a little rain in the evening.
“Hopefully we get a lot of work done before that arrives and end the test on a high. The lads have been mega to work with as well and I couldn’t wish to be in a better position; we have a lot of focus and motivation for 2019.”