PBM Ducati has this morning confirmed Glenn Irwin will re-join the team for next year’s Bennetts British Superbike series alongside Tommy Bridewell.
The Irishman last raced with the Langwathby mob from 2016 to 2018 where he won three North West 200 Superbike races and a handful of BSB races - finishing third in the 2018 title chase.
Irwin has been quick to dispel any notion he is going back to PBM for the money and believes wholeheartedly that Paul Bird’s team is his best shot at taking the title. He also points out the biggest difference between then and now is himself.
“I think the biggest thing is what’s different with me. The injury I sustained at PBM in year two is now fixed as of midway through this year and that’s one of the reasons for the upturn in results,” Irwin told bikesportnews.com, fresh from pumpkin-picking with his young family.
“I finally have a left shoulder that I can go to Oulton Park with and actually put the bike left-right-left. I will arrive there a better rider physically, a better person. I have changed a lot, matured a lot and I am going back to PBM for the best chance to become British champion.
“It’s fine having the belief you are a race winner, it’s fine telling people you want to win the British Superbike Championship one day but you only have that inner-belief when you start to achieve something. The momentum we had towards the end of the year means it is realistic to say that now, it is achieveable.”
That inner-belief is crucial to Irwin’s drive and determination but it isn’t something he has always had in spades.
From my experience before at PBM, my team-mate was Shane Byrne for two and a half years and he was able to handle the expectation because he had done it, he had won and he was able to work in a serial winning team. In 2018, I could win races but I didn’t have the deep belief, the feeling I could win a championship - now I do.
“I have always been told that in a career, timing is everything. My main sponsor James Jamieson, told me in fact years ago, and I say that PBM has had two terrible years by its standards but I think the bike has better potential than it showed. Tommy Bridewell has done well on it at Moto Rapido.
“I feel the timing now I am over my injury and some hurdles in life which I have also got over I would say I am like a wounded animal that is no longer wounded, now a strong animal. So, do you want to fight against a team like that or fight with it? Fuck, I don’t want to fight against a motivated Paul Bird.
“People have talked about my mental health before when I was there. Where I was in myself had nothing to do with what motorcycle team I raced for. It was things I was struggling with away from the track. I want to make it very clear that Paul Bird was very supportive and we have continued to have a good friendship. I didn’t leave on bad terms. I feel ready for this opportunity.”