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Byrne: Easy decision to snub MotoGP ride

21 March 2013

Defending British Superbike champion Shane 'Shakey' Byrne says his decision to turn down the opportunity to compete in MotoGP this year was an easy one.

Byrne was Paul Bird's first choice to take over from James Ellison in the CRT class, but at 36-years-old the triple BSB champion has no desire to be 'wobbling around in 10th or 15th' in MotoGP and opted instead to challenge for a record-breaking fourth crown in the British series.

Having previously competed in both MotoGP and World Superbikes, Byrne feels he has ticked those boxes and his only goal is to remain a winner in BSB.

“I've been to MotoGP and come back and tried World Superbikes. I'm loving being back,” he told BBC Radio Kent.

“Why would I leave? All I've done is equal a record with two other riders [by winning three BSB titles] – I aim to break records not equal them.”

Ryuichi Kiyonari, back in BSB this year with the Samsung Honda team, and Niall Mackenzie have also secured a hat-trick of BSB championships, but Byrne is relishing the chance to become the all-time number one as he returns to defend his title on the Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki.

“What do I need to prove at that level? It really, really annoys me when people question why I've stayed and say I'm not getting any younger,” he added.

“I'm two race wins from being the most successful ever race winner in BSB, I'm fighting for an unprecedented fourth title and I'm hungrier than ever.

“So to be questioned like that really makes me angry but all it does is fire me up more.”

Byrne failed to make an impression in MotoGP in 2004/05 and said the experience of riding inferior machinery was a 'bitter pill to swallow'.

“As a young rider I always said winning 10 BSB titles would never make you a world champion,” said Byrne.

“But I soon realised the guys you're riding against in MotoGP are just as talented, but the machinery differences mean if you're not on the right bike you get nowhere and, to be honest, that was a real bitter pill to swallow.

“We've seen what can happen with Rossi struggling these last two years.

“I don't want to leave BSB to wobble around in 10th or 15th. I'm a winner.”


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