Glenn Irwin has vowed to add his trademark aggression into the mix as the MCE British Superbike prospect enters his second season in Paul Bird’s Be Wiser Ducati team.
The Carrick man impressed on his debut in the class last year as he clinched two rostrum finishes on the Panigale R, but Irwin is setting his sights much higher as the new season roars into life this weekend at Donington Park.
The affable 27-year-old, sixth fastest in the damp at the official BSB test at the Leicestershire circuit last week, has his sights set on making the Showdown this year and Irwin has been working hard throughout the winter months to prepare meticulously ahead of a hugely important season in his career.
“It’s exciting to be putting my thoughts into writing for round one as it means we are nearly there. It fires me up to know Donington Park is just around the corner and we are ready to race this year,” he said.
“I really enjoyed the pre-season testing we did and I feel I have improved massively. 2017 will see a much more aggressive Glenn Irwin, which I feel was missing last year, so it’s very exciting.”
Irwin has brought fellow Northern Ireland man Nikki Coates into his team this year to act as a ‘spotter’ and will be aiming to start the season on a roll as free practice gets underway on Friday.
He ended 2016 on a high with a podium at Brands Hatch before dominating on home soil at the Sunflower Trophy meeting at Bishopscourt in Co Down in October.
Irwin then caused a sensation on his debut at the Macau Grand Prix, where he was in contention for a podium on the PBM Ducati until he was cruelly forced out with a technical problem with around a lap and a half remaining.
His team-mate, Shane ‘Shakey’ Byrne, is seeking a sixth BSB title in 2017 following previous championship successes in 2003, 2008, 2012, 2014 and last year.
Toome’s Michael Laverty will also be aiming to kick-start his championship quest on a high after joining the McAMS Yamaha team along with James Ellison to ride the YZF-R1.