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Shane Byrne to make MotoGP return?

7 May 2012

Shane Byrne could be set to make a shock MotoGP return in the forthcoming French Grand Prix at Le Mans, from May 18-20.

Byrne currently rides Kawasaki machinery for Paul Bird's PBM British Superbike team, but Bird is also running fellow Briton James Ellison on a CRT Aprilia in MotoGP this year.

However Ellison has been struggling with massive chatter and is one of only two riders yet to score a point.

Speaking on British Eurosport's coverage of Monday's Oulton Park BSB round, Bird revealed that Byrne could take Ellison's place at Le Mans and therefore make his first MotoGP appearance since 2005.

"It's something I have been milling over for a couple of meetings," said Bird. "James seems to be lacking a bit of confidence and is complaining about massive chatter with the bike.

"Obviously Shakey has ridden at Le Mans a couple of times and maybe we will let him have a run out on the bike and rest James for a meeting.

"That way we can have another view of what the bike is like, to see if we do have a severe chatter problem, but, you known, Casey Stoner has severe chatter problems and still wins the race, so we will have a look...

"I've asked James if he wants to run at Le Mans but I think we would get another view of what the bike is like. It's our first [MotoGP] season so maybe it's time for a management decision."

Byrne raced for Aprilia, Team Roberts and Honda Pons in MotoGP from 2004-2005, but never completed a full season due to injuries or team issues.

'Shakey' has since raced in WSBK (where he had previously won as a wild-card) and BSB. Byrne took his first BSB title with Bird's team in 2002 and claimed a second crown with Airwaves Ducati in 2008.

Ellison previously raced in MotoGP from 2004-2006.

UPDATE: Byrne later took his first win of the 2012 BSB season at Oulton Park on Monday.


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