The Be Wiser Ducati British Superbike Championship Team of Shane Byrne and Glenn Irwin got their first taste of 2017 action when both riders were in action at Portimao at the weekend.
Five-time MCE BSB title winner and defending champion 'Shakey', along with team-mate Irwin enjoyed a positive two-day test on the latest version and factory-supported Be Wiser Ducati Panigale Rs at the Portuguese track on the Algarve.
The test was alongside a number of World Superbike Championship teams, including the official Arubi.it Ducati Racing Team of Chaz Davies and Marco Melandri, whereby Davies was fastest.
The team now heads to Jerez for another two-day test this week at Jerez in Southern Spain on Wednesday and Thursday.
The opening round of the MCE British Superbike Championship takes place at Donington Park on March 31/April 2 with the official MCE BSB test day, also at Donington Park, on Wednesday 22nd March. For further information please visit http://www.britishsuperbike.com and keep an eye out for the new Be Wiser Ducati website at http://www.pbmuk.net which will be launched soon.
Shane Byrne: “It's pretty difficult to assess how our initial test went this year as you could argue that being just 0.2 seconds off the factory Ducati WSB bike and in the mix with many of the others means that I've blown out the cobwebs and got up to speed quite quickly. But at the same time we can't rest on our laurels and need to push on with the development of the bike, testing against WSB bikes is like taking a knife to a gunfight but we held our own that's for sure. It’s early days yet and we are continuing the development work but just getting back out on my baby at a track I enjoy was great fun and roll on Jerez.”
Glenn Irwin: “It was good to ride at Portimao and shake off the winter cobwebs. We tested the new blipper which will come good, but I feel it was an extra on the bike but not yet working as I want it to. We also experimented with a new clutch and a different direction with the bike and we found some good pace towards the end of the day two leaving me just 1.3 seconds off Melandri and a second off Shakey. To end the day just a second off on a track where I’ve done so few miles is positive considering how quick Shakey’s pace was.”
Phil Borley, Technical Director: “The PBM Be Wiser Ducati Team have had a productive first test of 2017 with both riders completing over 100 laps in good conditions at the Portimao circuit. A number of new parts have been tested along with the updated 2017 BSB engine management software and good progress has been made with our continued development of the bike. We now move onto Jerez where we have some more parts and settings to test on Wednesday and Thursday this week.”