The MCE British Superbike Championship might have been all about the young guns in recent rounds, but veteran Shane ‘Shakey’ Byrne issued a stark reminder to the youngsters snapping at his heels with the perfect gentlemen’s set last time out at Snetterton.
The five-times British Champion topped every practice session before going on to take pole with the quickest ever two-wheeled lap of the Norfolk circuit (1’46.024) and then decimating the opposition in Sunday’s two races as well as clinching a new lap record.
And while Byrne is happy to recognise the achievements of the recent wave of young guns, he’s keen to point out that his age isn’t something holding him back.
“I’m chuffed to bits for the fast young riders coming through and you have to think they’re only going to get stronger,” Byrne told MCN after the second race. “But at the same time that doesn’t mean the rest of us are getting any weaker. Just this weekend I’ve made another little step in something I do in my preparation for races and I’m always looking for improvements like that.
“Don’t ever think for one moment that Shakey is going to stand still because I’m not.”
Byrne is hoping his Snetterton dominance will mark the end to what has been an up and down start to the year for the Be Wiser Ducati team, which started in the worst possible way with Byrne taking zero points from three of the first four races after missing Donington with concussion and crashing out at Brands Indy.
“It feels like my season has finally started,” Byrne laughed. “It seems weird to be saying that at round five but this is only our second and third win of the year! It’s not as though our speed hasn’t been there, it’s been there at most rounds and nothing has particularly gone wrong, but it hasn’t gone right either!
“I think we could have won at Donington and Brands Indy, at Oulton we did. Knockhill wasn’t great, I gave everything I could but I just wasn’t in the race for the win and I’m not very good at accepting that. With the way my year has started, two podiums was not enough so to come here and rectify that was important.”
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