|Byrne has won 4 out of 6 races in 2013
Since last talking to PaddockChatter in March, Shane Byrne has become the most successful British Superbike rider ever, beating Ryuichi Kiyonari to the most race wins in the series and he doesn’t plan on stopping yet. Sitting just one point behind championship leader Alex Lowes after three rounds of the 2013 season, Byrne has his eyes set on becoming the first ever rider to achieve four BSB championships, firmly stamping his legacy as the greatest British Superbike rider ever.
We caught up with him during the current break in the season to quiz him about the year so far…
You’ve won four out of six races so far this season, a better start than last year, things are looking good for you at the moment…
Yeah but at the same time it’s early days, it’s way too early to be getting carried away and too worked up about the results. The approach this year will be the same as last year, just try to build on what we’ve got and put the package together to be as strong as possible for when we hopefully get to the showdown, so step by step. It’s been a good start and I’m very, very happy, we’ll see where we go from here.
There seems to be a few jibes coming from several directions about, the legality of your bike. What do you think has brought about these accusations?
I don’t think it’s just our bike to be honest, sometimes when riders don’t get the results they want it’s not always down to them… Josh has had a few digs about my bike and Alex’s bike and I was actually really, really pleased after they stripped the bike at Oulton Park; not that I take it personally but it’s was just like ‘right okay’ have you finished moaning now? It’s legal, so crack on, do your job and worry about what you’ve got to do and we’ll take it from there.
‘Read more’ to see what Byrne has to say about Kiyo and Brookes on the roads…
Kiyonari came back this year to stop you from becoming the most successful BSB rider ever, an accolade you took in just the second round while Kiyonari has only finished two races in the top ten, what are your thoughts on this situation?
I think the Kiyo thing is very difficult to comment on because I spent a year as his teammate in 2011 and you spend the whole time literally looking over your shoulder because you know that at any one point in time he could click and that will be it, he’ll be away again and he’ll be really, really fast. I’m not the sort of person that wants to gloat on somebody else’s bad fortune, he’s not having a good time at the moment for whatever reason, his teammate’s winning on the bike and has not been off the podium this year yet so it’s clearly not a motorcycle issue. I think that the Honda team are right behind Kiyo and they just need to show him some love and get him going again.
One of your biggest rivals in BSB, Josh Brookes is competing in both the North West 200 and the Isle of Man in a couple of weeks whilst you’ve got a few weeks off – what do you expect Brookes to do and do you think it’ll have any effect on his BSB season?
I don’t genuinely know how or what to expect from him to be honest because it’s a completely different ball game over on the road circuits. I think he’s the fastest man that’s gone over there in a long time by far. That’s not being disrespectful to any of the other guys or the ‘road racing greats’ if you like but you’d have to say that a BSB race winner last year is the most competitive racer that’s gone over for a long time and it’s just how different the disciplines are. I wish him luck, I hope he does well and he should treat it as a massive learning curve – he’s not to worry about the person that he is but worry about the person that he could be when he gets to grips with it all.
When asked if he’s ever thought about doing the TT we receive a smile accompanied by a rather firm “no”.