PBM announce Ducati switch with Byrne and Irwin

Paul Bird BSB squad will be fully factory-supported by Ducati under the Be Wiser banner

THE Paul Bird Motorsport team have announced that Shane ‘Shakey’ Byrne will remain with them next season, but with the new addition of British Supersports rider Glenn Irwin and a change of machinery.

After just missing out on the 2015 British Superbike championship title, Byrne is to stay with the PBM squad, but next season he will be Ducati mounted alongside 25-year-old Irwin who is stepping up from the Motorpoint British Supersport championship.

Both Byrne and Irwin will race under the Be Wiser banner following recent association between the leading insurance brand and Paul Bird’s team. The deal is a multi-year association with the nine-time British and national champions who have also had victories at World Superbike and MotoGP level.

Switching from Kawasaki, the PBM team will be fully factory-supported by Ducati on a Panigale R. The team are wasting no time and will be testing in Valencia immediately after Brands Hatch as they undergo an intense winter testing programme in preparation for the 2016 championship. 

Paul Bird, team owner, commented: '2016 will be our 21st consecutive year in racing and we are the first team to confirm our line-up for next season, which demonstrates our intention of challenging for the MCE BSB championship. In Shakey we have the most successful rider in the history of the series and we know he'll be very competitive.

'Glenn is a rider I've had my eye on for a while and is a huge talent so now is the time to step up to a superbike and I've every confidence in his ability. It's fantastic to have a reputable company like Be Wiser Insurance as our title sponsor as the brand fits perfectly with our team and it's a long-term association like most of our sponsors in the past.

'It's also great to be back working with the Ducati factory which will see us reunited with the brand which gave us most of our early successes. It's an honour to be entrusted to deliver the results as a factory-backed team, which we aim to do.'

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