‘I’m not sure it’s sunk in yet’
While it’s over a week since Byrne took his fifth British Superbike title, he still feels unable to say exactly what that victory means.
“Honestly, I don’t think it has sunk in yet, or if it has it wasn’t quite what I thought it might feel like. Obviously I’m happy, but it just seems like the championship happened. It happened with a sixth place and that really didn’t impress me. There was a little bit of a party on the Sunday night at Brands Hatch but nothing major, I’ve done a few interviews since but other than that every day has been normal.”
Not just a holiday…
While the post-championship trip is a way for Byrne to chill out with Petra and the kids, this doesn’t stop him training and working towards his ultimate goal of winning even more British Superbike titles.
“I don’t train any more or any less than I ever have, but I probably train a bit smarter,” he says. “I understand what I need and how I need to feel on my race bike and my way of achieving that feeling is my little routine. I don’t need somebody telling me to do 20,000 chin ups and 15,000 press ups and whatever else to be fast on a motorbike. I need to be in a good place mentally, and my family and my life in general puts me in that place, while the exercise I do takes care of the physical demands of racing a superbike.
“I like cycling a lot, cycling around here in 24°C with such beautiful views, seeing the sea and riding in the mountains is what cycling is all about. Riding around in Kent when it’s 5°C, pouring with rain and blowing a gale isn’t quite so much fun, so over the winter in the UK I’ll do two or three longer, gentle runs and then more intense stuff on the turbo trainer at home.”
While most of his training focuses on pedal power, Byrne, like many other racers, admits it is essential to get that horsepower fix through the winter.
“I do like to keep fit by doing a bit of motocross, but I actually bust myself up quite badly this time last year. I over-jumped a jump slightly, landed hard and badly broke my leg. I wasn’t allowed to talk about it at the time as the deal with Ducati was just happening, but I don’t mind telling you now that walking around the NEC show two weeks later was uncomfortable!
“But at the end of the day, superbike racing is a dangerous occupation and there’s a very high chance of getting hurt at some point or another. You could argue that you don’t need to put yourself at any more risk by riding a motocross bike, but ultimately we need to ride bikes.
“I’m fairly tempted to ask Ducati for a road bike for the winter so I can maybe pop down to Spain and just ride bikes on tracks. There’s nothing other than my family and kids that I love more than riding motorbikes anyway, so spending as much time on them as I can is good for me!”
‘I don’t train any more or any less, but I probably train a bit smarter’ SHANE BYRNE
Having wrapped up his fifth BSB title, Shakey is gunning for two more
The hills around Shakey’s Spanish holiday home are perfect for hours of training in the saddle