Shane ‘Shakey’ Byrne and the Paul Bird Motorsport team re-wrote the history books this year as both Byrne and the Be Wiser-backed effort became five times MCE British Superbike Champions.
Byrne’s five titles place him two championship victories clear of any other rider while the PBM team equalled GSE Racing’s record of five BSB Riders’ crowns and now, MCN can exclusively reveal the pairing will strive to etch themselves further into the record books after reaching an almost-unprecedented two-year agreement which will see Byrne remain with Bird’s team until the end of 2018.
While riders remaining with teams in BSB is not uncommon, it has long been the case in the British series that agreements are made on a season-by-season basis, but after a successful five-year stint with the Cumbrian outfit, Byrne turned to team boss and close friend Paul Bird wanting to commit long term.
“It seems quite funny to describe a team as my team, I mean obviously Paul owns it but it’s like home for me,” Byrne told MCN.
“PBM is essentially an extended family for me. Paul knows exactly what I put into my racing and I know exactly what Paul puts into it. He doesn’t have to be there, but year after year he comes back and over the last five years he’s given me a job and that’s meant that in a five-minute phone call we were able to agree to do a two-year deal for the first time ever.
“Between Paul and I a lot of honesty comes out as he isn’t just my boss, he’s my friend. I’ve done this two-year deal because I think it’s really important and shows there’s a lot of stability in my life, in the relationship with him and nobody else in BSB has a two-year deal.”
Byrne is once again set to be joined in the PBM team by Northern Irishman Glenn Irwin, who impressed in his rookie season in the Superbike class.
“We likely to give Glenn another shot as he’s done an alright job but it’s now time to push on,” said Bird, speaking to MCN. “He’s riding the best bike on the grid, it’s just won the championship so in year two we’ll be expecting results!”
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