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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.
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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