WINNING IS MY MOTIVATION
Champion looks to make up lost ground after missing first round of the year
Shane Byrne will be looking to fight back in the second round of the 2017 MCE British Superbike Championship at Brands Hatch this weekend after missing the opening races at Donington Park with concussion.
The five-time British Champion fell heavily in warm-up at the Leicestershire circuit, taking a hard bang to the head as he was tossed across the track. But in true champion style Byrne says it only adds to his motivation to come back and win this weekend.
“The way this year has gone so far has really opened my eyes,” said Byrne, who admitted to being rusty at Donington Park after limited pre-season testing.
“This winter I’ve spent a lot of time thinking what I’d like to achieve in my career and I’ve finally set my mind on some numbers I’d like to reach before hanging up my boots. One of those things is that I desperately want to win back-to-back titles so the most important thing for me this year is that, we can sort the rest after!”
Despite the heavy crash, Byrne says he’ll be 100% fit as he heads back on track at Brands this weekend and is grateful for the extra test session BSB bosses have added to the schedule for Good Friday (free practice starts on Saturday with qualifying on Sunday and racing on Monday).
“I went straight from Donington out to my place in Spain,” he explained. “I was told to take it easy for a few days so I did, but then I got straight back on it for the week to get back into shape and get rid of the aches and pains ready for Brands.
“Fortunately it was just the knock to the head I suffered in the crash so I’ll be 100% fit this weekend, if still a little green. We, more than anyone, could have done with two races under our belt, but I think we can take a lot of positives. We were quickest in the first session even though we’d had less testing than everyone else.
“The bike can only get better, there are things coming, I don’t know when but if we ride what we’ve got now it’s still there or thereabouts.”
And while he sits 50 points behind title rival Leon Haslam, Byrne is looking at things from a glass half-full perspective.
“We lost 50 points to Leon, but I’m only 21 points off the guy in sixth and that’s the most important thing at the moment. If we can get in the top six for The Showdown at Donington, will have only lost ten podium points to our closest rival, so it’s not the worst scenario in the world. I’m sure we can chip away throughout the year and know we’re only going to get stronger. It’s funny, people often ask me what keeps me motivated but they don’t understand that winning is all you need, but I guess now I’ve got some extra motivation too!”