‘ I LIKE MY LIFE TO BE CHILLED OUT’

The most suc­cess­ful BSB racer ever tells us how his family rou­tine keeps him grounded

Motorcycle News (UK) - - Comment - By Oli Rushby MCN BSB RE­PORTER

We’re sit­ting out­side a café in a sma l l Spani sh town, “Tres cafés por fa­vor,” says the fa­mil­iar voice of MCE Bri­tish Su­per­bike star Shane ‘Shakey’ Byrne.

It con­fuses me for a sec­ond – we’re so used to hear­ing Shakey talk in his usual cheeky-chap North Kent ac­cent that I hadn’t even con­tem­plated he’d be able to speak bet­ter Span­ish than I could un­der­stand (ad­mit­tedly, not hard). He con­tin­ues to or­der food for his two chil­dren, Zack and Lilly, again in per­fect Span­ish.

As the kids tuck into their chips and chicken nuggets, I pause for a mo- ment to think. Just over a week ago, this bloke won a record fifth Bri­tish Su­per­bike ti­tle and now he’s sat in an unas­sum­ing Span­ish café or­der­ing his kids some­thing to eat while his wife Pe­tra is out for a run in the hills. Back on full-time Daddy duty.

“Since win­ning the ti­tle I haven’t re­ally done any­thing spe­cial,” he ex­plains. “We’ve not been any­where, done any­thing, we’ve just been plan­ning and look­ing for­ward to get­ting back out here.”

By ‘here’, he’s re­fer­ring to their hol­i­day re­treat on the North East­ern Span­ish coast, where he and his family spend al­most ev­ery school hol­i­day.

“Af­ter the sea­son ended, we took the kids out of school for a cou­ple of days so we could make this a 10day trip, as when we come out here

dur­ing the race sea­son it turns into a bit of a train­ing camp! When we spent six weeks here in the sum­mer, ev­ery day was a bal­ance be­tween me go­ing out and do­ing any­thing from two to six hours on the push bike and Pe­tra go­ing out and do­ing god knows how many miles run­ning in the moun­tains. This time, now we’ve got the cham­pi­onship boxed off, it’s a lot more re­laxed and chilled out.”

It’s not hard to see just how chilled out Shakey is. When we ar­rived in his town, we met him at the lo­cal skatepark, where he was play­ing with Zack (7) and Lilly (5) on scoot­ers. It was ev­ery­thing you’d ex­pect, Dad show­ing the kids how it’s done, the kids in fits of gig­gles as he nearly falls off and then, of course, the tears and sulk­ing when one of the kids slips off while the other, ful­fill­ing their oblig­a­tory du­ties as a sib­ling, laughs and pokes fun.

“Th­ese are the only peo­ple who never judge me. They are the only peo­ple I don’t have to im­press and they are the only peo­ple I want to make happy,” he says.

Hav­ing first raced in 1996, Byrne has been around the block a few times in his 20 years on track. When he won his first BSB ti­tle in 2003, he was both young and care­free – some­thing he thought gave him the edge on his older com­peti­tors.

“When I was com­ing through the ranks in su­per­bikes, I’d look at the likes of Hizzy and John Reynolds – the guys

who were older than me with kids and fam­i­lies – and think: ‘How can they be as fo­cused as I am?’ I had no mort­gage, no bills and no other wor­ries, all I wanted to do was suc­ceed.

“But when Pe­tra and I first had Zack, I re­alised what hav­ing kids re­ally does for you and it’s the days when things don’t go so well that it re­ally makes a dif­fer­ence. No mat­ter what has hap­pened, when I get back to the mo­torhome, the kids are pleased to see me. They don’t care if I fin­ish first, 10th, or 20th.”

Hav­ing al­ready be­come the most suc­cess­ful Bri­tish Su­per­bike racer in his­tory, Byrne has just penned a new two-year deal to con­tinue rac­ing in Bri­tain – some­thing he en­joys be­cause it doesn’t in­ter­fere with family life.

“The thing with BSB is that it re­ally suits hav­ing a family, apart from the or­gan­is­ers get­ting a bit anal about kids on scoot­ers in the pad­dock!” he laughs.

“I like my life to be chilled out, and by rac­ing in BSB I can be at home to put the kids to bed on a Sun­day night and then get up and take them to school. It works per­fectly.”

‘Now we’ve got the cham­pi­onship boxed off, it’s a lot more re­laxed’ SHANE BYRNE

'MY kids are the only peo­ple I donõt have to im­press and the only peo­ple I want to make happy'

Shane Byrne, five-times BSB Champ, and still hun­gry for more ti­tles

‘Let Dad show you how it’s done’. He just can’t help him­self This is how a reign­ing mul­ti­ple Bri­tish cham­pion takes his mind off the day job A fu­ture BSB champ in the mak­ing? Zack has al­ready got his dad’s taste for two wheels Shakey at­tempts to teach our

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