PBM Ducati team owner Paul Bird has died

It has been announced that Paul Bird has died, aged 56, following a stay in hospital as per a statement issued by Paul Bird Motorsport.

Paul Bird. - Gold and Goose

Paul Bird, owner of the Paul Bird Motorsport motorcycle racing team, has died aged 56.

Mr. Bird, a well-known and well-established member of the UK motorcycle racing community, reportedly died, after a short stay in hospital, on 1 September 2023.

A statement published on the Paul Bird Motorsport team’s official social media accounts reads:

“Paul Bird (1967-2023).

“PBM is deeply saddened to announce the sudden passing of Paul Bird, the Team Owner of Paul Bird Motorsport.

“Paul Bird died earlier today at the age of 56 following a short time in hospital with illness. Paul’s family are requesting privacy during this time.”

PBM’s period of success now spans over 20 years, since its first British Superbike title with Steve Hislop in 2002. It also won six BSB titles with Shane Byrne between 2003 and 2017, the first four - in 2003, 2008, 2012, and 2014 - with Kawasaki and the last two - in 2016 and 2017 - with Ducati.

When the Ducati Panigale V4 R arrived in 2019, PBM’s success, with Paul Bird - as ever - at the helm, continued, with BSB titles in 2019 - with Scott Redding  - and in 2020 - with Josh Brookes. 

In 2023, PBM’s BSB riders, Tommy Bridewell and Glenn Irwin, are currently sitting first and second in the riders’ championship, respectively, after the eighth round of the series at Cadwell Park.

Outside of BSB, Mr. Bird took his PBM team to WorldSBK, where it managed the factory Kawasaki team until 2011, and then to MotoGP, where it competed under CRT rules with Aprilia-derived motorcycles, including with its own PBM 01 chassis, between 2012 and 2014.

Mr. Bird’s son, Frank, continues to represent the four-wheeled part of his late father’s racing passion. Frank Bird is racing this season in the same GT World Challenge Europe series as Valentino Rossi, driving a PBM-backed Mercedes.

Paul Bird’s own four-wheeled passion saw him compete in numerous rallies, including the 2003 Manx Rally, in which he was co-driven by Larry Carter, and which can be watched below.