SHAKEY: I COULD HAVE RULED THE WORLD
Shakey says he’d swap all of his BSB titles for just one WSB crown – and he could still win it!
Shane Byrne still believes he could win the World Superbike title if he had the right bike.
The five-time MCE British Superbike champion told MCN: “I have some personal goals I want to achieve in BSB, but if I’m completely honest, I’d swap all five British titles for one world title. My personal desire is still to be a world champion, but at this stage I think that might be difficult.
“It’s not my age, look at Bayliss, Biaggi and Checa, they were all in their 40s when they won world titles, but at this moment in time the problem is being able to secure a bike in WSB that would give you the chance to fight at the very front.
“Without taking anything away from any of the guys in WSB, with the exception of Chaz they are all guys I’ve beaten before. Even Cal, who’s now winning in Motogp, he finished second to me in BSB the last time we all raced together.”
When Byrne raced full-time in WSB in 2009/10, he didn’t feel he had the package to challenge at the front. But having taken two stunning victories as a wildcard at Brands Hatch in 2003, he has no doubt he could have been world champion had he made the switch earlier.
“In my career, I’d say I’ve made two ‘boo-boos’. The first was riding the kit SP1 in BSB in 2000 when I could have ridden the factory Kawasaki, and the second was opting to stay in Motogp in 2005 when I could have ridden some very good bikes in WSB. I could have been on the Yamaha or Ducati and we could be sat having a very different conversation right now.
“It might not have been that straight forward, but the offer was there to ride one of the best bikes in WSB at the time. Maybe if I’d gone then I could still be in WSB now! There is absolutely no doubt in my mind whatsoever that given a shot on a decent bike I could have been the world champion.”
While he’s still got the desire to be king of the world, Byrne remains realistic that his future is in the British Superbike series and has embraced that fact and the extra family time that comes with it.
“I doubt there’s any racer out there who doesn’t want to be world champion, but I really do love BSB. It’s a great championship and it’s really fun to race in because it’s always so competitive.
“I’m riding for the best team in the paddock and every weekend I have the chance to fight for victory and when I’m done, I can pack up and be home on Sunday night in time to put the kids to bed and take them to school the next morning. That’s so important for me; family is everything so it’s good to have that balance in my life. I get to go racing, which I’m enjoying more than ever, but I also get to be the dad again on Sunday night and Monday morning.”
‘In my career, I’d say I’ve made two ‘ boo-boos’’
Shakey gave the WSB regulars red faces when he won the double in 2003 at Brands
Some people have spiders in their attic, Shakey has a lot of silverware...