Newly crowned Bennetts British Superbike Champion Shane Byrne has described this title win as meaning more to him than his first triumph back in 2003.
Byrne wrapped up the 2008 title three races early after finishing a quiet, but necessary, third place behind Leon Camier and Cal Crutchlow in the first race of the weekend at Silverstone.
While the win has been highly anticipated since his stunning start to the season, Byrne was still overjoyed and 'relieved' to make the title a formality with several races remaining.
“I am really, really happy – I think this title is better,” he told Crash.net
. “I am relieved. At the end of 2006 when I'd been racing with Rizla Suzuki, I think most people had written me off. Last year, with Stobart Honda, we had podiums against good teams, but having been here, I now know what a good team is, without meaning disrespect anyone else.
“It has been a while coming but we have got the job done. It has been a great effort from the team and they have given me a really good bike, but barring Croft, we have not been off the podium when we have finished.”
Also a fourth title for GSE Racing, the win is expected to be all the more poignant given his decision to defect to the World Championship in 2009. As such, Byrne was thrilled to gift the triumph to both the team and Ducati before they switch to Yamaha's next year.
“I have really enjoyed my time here and I have had a fantastic bike at every round, which has paid dividends.”
Byrne went on to finish behind Leon Haslam in the second race – his 19th podium finish of the season.