Exciting Ulster motorcycling talent Glenn Irwin will make the step up to the MCE British Superbike Championship in 2016 after two seasons in the Supersport class with Gearlink Kawasaki.
The 25-year-old, who made a sensational debut at this year’s North West 200 with a runner-up finish in the second Supersport race, is set to take his chance in the prestigious short circuit series next year after confirming he will leave Michael and Norma de Bidaph’s Salisbury-based team at the end of the season.
Irwin will have his final outing on the resplendent Kawasaki ZX-6R at the Sunflower Trophy meeting at Bishopscourt in Co Down on October 24 before the bubbly Carrick lad switches focus to his BSB preparations.
On Monday, Irwin – who has been linked with top outfits including Paul Bird Motorsport and Tyco BMW among others – told the News Letter his plans should be officially announced before the end of October.
“I can’t say anything for another two weeks and although I don’t actually have something signed, it’s 99 per-cent I’d say at the moment,” Irwin said.
“I suppose anything could still happen but the deal is very, very likely. I’ve had discussions with good teams in BSB and even in Supersport there were teams that were keen for me to join them, but BSB is definitely the right next step for me.
“I have to give so much credit to Gearlink Kawasaki because they gave me the chance to come in and do a good job for them and I won’t forget that.
“We maybe haven’t done what we had wanted to this year but I’ve still been able to pick up a few wins and attract some nice interest for next season because of that: I owe them big time.”
Irwin, who also took the Ulster GP by storm with two podiums on his Supersport bow at Dundrod in August, said his BSB commitments may mean he is unable to compete on the roads next season.
“It’s probably less likely that I’ll be able to do the North West and the ‘Ulster’ but if I do miss out there’s no doubt I’ll return at some stage,” he said.