Byrne fastest at Brands despite struggling with back pain

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After launching an intense winter fitness campaign in an attempt to gain every advantage over his rivals ahead of the start of the 2014 MCE British Superbike series, Shane Byrne has been left struggling to regain full fitness ahead of this weekend’s Brands Hatch round after suffering an injury while filming a Eurosport pre-season feature.

“It’s one of those things, and you can’t let things get to you, because I’ve spent all winter training and working hard and doing everything possible to be as strong as possible on this day. On Tuesday, I took my kids to the park with Eurosport, Zach was on the monkey bars and panicked a little, and I took all his weight while leant right over with my arms stretched out. Whatever I’ve done, pulled something or that, it’s pretty sore.”

Despite pain in his back, the former triple champion was still able to hold off his rivals to finish the one-hour test session on provisional pole position. However, with back pain affecting his performance, he admitted that he didn’t enjoy the day.

“As the session wore on, it got a little worse and a little more worse, so I’m going back now to my osteopath, and he’s going to try and make it feel a little better again, so hopefully it’ll be ok.”

“To be honest, today wasn’t great, and I didn’t really enjoy it at all. I like it when I ride my bike and feel like I’ve absolutely ripped the handle grips off it - properly ridden it - but today we just went round and round and round and didn’t have much fun. That’s unusual, because normally I jump on this bike wherever we have, and just have fun, and ride harder and harder until you get to the point where you’re really enjoying it. That didn’t happen today, and we couldn’t find what we were looking for.”

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Simon Patterson

By Simon Patterson

MotoGP and road racing reporter, photographer, videographer