BSB » 19 February 2013
Interview with Shane Byrne
There's only so much you can do within the current regulations, but that's why you have a crew chief and you let them crack on with it. The PBM team is a great team and a lot of them are from WSBK so they've always got a pretty good idea of ballpark settings.
Is the bike similar to the WSBK one?
Not really, no. The regulations are so different. A couple of bits and pieces like the older spec suspension on the BSB bike are from WSBK, but engine, ECU and wiring loom are all different and we've had a new swing-arm made for the BSB bike now. The chassis is also different because the WSBK one is so heavily modified.
What do you think of the current BSB evo style specs?
Ultimately, no matter what people do with the rules, the results will stay the same. The top teams will always hire the top riders and they'll be winning races. You can't get to a point where you're penalising the top teams for being successful, because it's the people around them that make them do well.
In some ways though I actually enjoy riding the new spec bike more, because you have to give more input rather than relying on anti-wheelie or traction control. But I've got to say, it was cool for me in the days when people turned up at the circuit to see lads jumping onto technology filled, fire breathing monsters with a load of horsepower and watched the riders trying to tame them.
I like the new rules, I just feel it's dumbing down a bit. If you buy a road going ZX10 it's actually got more electronic control on it than our race bikes have, I don't see how that's progress. But from the riders point of view I enjoy riding the bike with as few electronics as possible.
Many people think that your natural level is to be in WSBK or MotoGP?
One day when I write a book I can tell you everything because by then it won't matter.
I was asked the other day what series I wanted to race in and the way I look at it, when I won the 2008 BSB title most of the British lads who are now doing well in WSBK [Haslam, Camier, Sykes] and Cal [Crutchlow] in MotoGP, were in BSB.
The last year we were all together I beat them all to the title and won 12 races. I put a great effort into BSB because there are still some great goals to achieve here and now I'm trying for a fourth title which nobody's done before.
Realistically I could have found a ride in MotoGP or WSBK for this season if I had wanted to, but in those championships you can only win if you're on one of very few bikes unless you have a lucky ride.
Why would I want to go back there when all the factory rides are taken? Why would I accept a Pedercini ride just to say I'm in WSBK and then get beaten every weekend?
I'd much rather line-up on the BSB grid where if you put me on the Milwaukee Yamaha, Samsung Honda, Tyco Suzuki or Kawasaki I can win a race. The bikes are so equal and I believe I can beat everyone out there.
Don't get me wrong, if I could jump on the factory Kawasaki in WSBK, I would, but I didn't get that opportunity.
When you were at Althea Ducati in WSBK, do you think you had equal equipment to Carlos Checa?
It's not something that really needs talking about, but the fairings were the same.
Who are your main threats in BSB this year?
Tagged as: Samsung Honda , Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki , Tyco Suzuki , Ryuichi Kiyonari , Thruxton , Shane Byrne , PBM , Josh Brookes , Suzuki , Ducati , Kawasaki , Silverstone , Yamaha
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