Interview with Shane Byrne

"I'm hungrier than ever. From a championship point of view all I'd done last year was achieve the same as other people. I want to be the top guy" - Shane Byrne.
By Christian Tiburtius

Shane Byrne won a record-equalling third BSB title in 2012 and is to remain with Paul Bird's Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki team in a bid to become the most successful rider in the Championship's history.

Byrne needs only two more race victories to equal Ryuichi Kiyonari's record of 43 wins while no rider has ever won a fourth BSB title. Byrne is presently tied with fellow triple winners Kiyonari and Niall Mackenzie.

'Shakey' took time out from his busy preparation schedule to talk to about his racing career and look ahead to the 2013 season...
When you started out, you were a bike tester for a magazine?

Shane Byrne:
Yeah, but I'd started racing before doing the bike testing. I used to work on the London Underground and had got banned from driving for dangerous driving so I bought a race bike to go racing instead. After a season or so, I got involved in the Fast Bikes magazine and did testing for them for a couple of years.
So racing was always part of a plan?

Shane Byrne:
100% yes, as corny as it sounds, right back to primary school, I've never wanted to be anything other than a motorbike racer, which is strange because neither of my parents even had a driving licence.

My mum knew that there wasn't a lot of point telling me it was too dangerous etc because she could tell that's what I loved doing and just kind of rolled with it. She never watches races until after when she knows everything's all right. She usually records them.
Looking back at the all bikes you've ridden, which stand out as your favourites?

Shane Byrne:
It's a difficult thing to answer because just give me a motorbike to ride, let me go and play and I'm happy. But the Monstermob Ducati and my first ZXR400 stand out as being a great springboard to other things. One thing always leads to another.
When you're setting up a bike, which aspects do you particularly look at?

Shane Byrne:
There's not any particular aspect. You're really just looking to maximise the package you've got and looking for any weak points, be that how you ride the bike or how you set it up.

Maybe the Kawasaki on Pirellis isn't the fastest turning bike and we needed the bike to be more nimble for the tight and twisty British circuits. But other than that we had a real good feeling from the front and changed the base set-up to help with the turning problem, so we could still do the lap times and look after the tyres. The Kawasaki's fast and it's got a great engine.

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Shane Byrne Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki - [picture credit: Ian Hopgood]
Jason O`Halloran, Honda Racing [Credit: Ian Hopgood]
Josh Brookes, Anvil Hire Yamaha, [Credit: Ian Hopgood]
Shane Byrne, Be Wiser Ducati, [Credit: Ian Hopgood]
Luke Mossey, JG Speedfit Kawasaki, [Credit: Ian Hopgood]
Tommy Bridewell, Team WD-40 Kawasaki [Credit: Ian Hopgood]
Bradley Ray, Buildbase Suzuki [Credit: Ian Hopgood]
Sylvain Guintoli, Bennetts Suzuki [Credit: Ian Hopgood]
James Ellison, McAMS Yamaha [Credit: Ian Hopgood]
Dan Linfoot, Honda Racing [Credit: Ian Hopgood]
Alastair Seeley, Tyco BMW [Credit: Ian Hopgood]
Haslam, Byrne, Mossey, [Credit: Ian Hopgood]
Shane Byrne, Be Wiser Ducati, [Credit: Ian Hopgood]
Leon Haslam, JG Speedfit Kawasaki [Credit: Ian Hopgood]
Leon Haslam, JG Speedfit Kawasaki [Credit: Ian Hopgood]
Leon Haslam, JG Speedfit Kawasaki [Credit: Ian Hopgood]
James Ellison, McAMS Yamaha [Credit: Ian Hopgood]
Leon Haslam, JG Speedfit Kawasaki [Credit: Ian Hopgood]

Join the conversation - Add your comment

Please login or register before adding your comments.

Although the administrators and moderators of this website will attempt to keep all objectionable comments off these pages, it is impossible for us to review all messages. All messages express the views of the poster, and neither Crash Media Group nor Crash.Net will be held responsible for the content of any message. We do not vouch for or warrant the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of any message, and are not responsible for the contents of any message. If you find a message objectionable, please contact us and inform us of the problem or use the [report] function next to the offending post. Any message that does not conform with the policy of this service can be edited or removed with immediate effect.


February 19, 2013 12:21 PM

One of my favourite riders ever... Just always comes accross as a down to earth nice bloke who you could go for a pint with. Was cheering him on the podium at the final rounds at Brands was emotional when he pushed for the win. Just one of those amazing moments in sport similar to when Tommy Hill took the champ by a fraction the year before. Agreed I'd love to see him on a top bike in WSBK to see how he'd get on against his old rivals and friends. Also interested to hear the truth about the machinery was on when he was there as most haters and trolls say he had the best machinery and failed. Saying tha the only thing similar he had to Checa was the fairing would confirm what we all suspect.. Will be buying the book..

Mr Pirelli - Unregistered

February 19, 2013 8:20 AM

He's pretty much at the peak of his powers and it'd be great to see how he fares against the likes of Rea, Sykes, Haslam and Crutchlow now. For what it's worth, on an equivalent bike, I think he'd still beat them. I want to see him in WSBK.

© 1999 - 2017 Crash Media Group

The total or partial reproduction of text, photographs or illustrations is not permitted in any form.