Shakey: Down But Not Out

We caught up with the six-time BSB champ.


Con­sid­er­ing his nick­name is Shakey, ex- Fast Bikes road tester and six-time Bri­tish Su­per­bike Cham­pion (oh, and World Su­per­bike race win­ner) Shane Byrne hasn’t had a bad ca­reer on two wheels at all. In fact, it’s been pretty darn fan­tas­tic. Win­ning races on a Du­cati, Kawasaki, Honda, Suzuki and Kawasaki in BSB means there is ab­so­lutely no deny­ing his tal­ent, and with more than 30 more do­mes­tic wins than any other rider, there was al­ways go­ing to be a chance that the 40-year-old from Kent was go­ing to be a strong con­tender for the ti­tle this year as well – which would’ve been three cham­pi­onships in a row. Now that’s not a bad record for the old­est rider in the cham­pi­onship is it?

It’s not just the im­mense tal­ent that soared Shakey from an ASBO-in­duc­ing road tester at the finest mag in ex­is­tence to a fan-favourite in the best do­mes­tic se­ries in the world though, it’s also how he crafted him­self into a fan-favourite. Af­ter some in­cred­i­ble show­ings as a pri­va­teer, Byrne climbed the ranks be­fore mov­ing from the shad­ows into the spot­light. It wasn’t all plain sail­ing for Byrne though, as his first cham­pi­onship came in the year he re­placed the ousted Steve His­lop, who’d been sacked by Paul Bird for be­ing too old. That’s no way to gain fans is it? Even so, Byrne made it work and be­came a real hit thanks to his po­lite and friendly na­ture… and the fact that he was bloody fast, win­ning two World Su­per­bike races as a wild­card in the same year.

From there things got tough with some dodgy years in Mo­toGP on crap bikes that were ham­pered with in­jury, be­fore a dabble back in BSB (and a sneaky cham­pi­onship) be­fore jump­ing into World Su­per­bike, for what was ul­ti­mately a pretty pants time. With for­mer suc­cess in Bri­tain spurring him on, Shakey re­turned to the BSB pad­dock in 2011, tak­ing the crown in 2012, 2014, 2016 and 2017 and he was hop­ing to add 2018 to the list as well. Un­for­tu­nately, fate had other ideas, so we sat down with the man him­self, to get his take on the past, present and fu­ture, and how things were com­ing along in the whole in­jury depart­ment…

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