BSB: Byrne: 'I've not given up hope'

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Shane ‘Shakey’ Byrne made a welcome return to the Bennetts British Superbike paddock today for the first time since the testing crash that has put his career in jeopardy.

The six-time champion crashed during a test at Snetterton back in May sustaining severe neck and back injuries. Currently towards the end of a three-month period wearing a ‘halo’ contraption which fixes his neck in place while it heals, Byrne visited his Be Wiser Ducati team ahead of joining the Eurosport crew for Saturday and Sunday’s coverage of qualifying and the races.

However, there remains no update on his condition and whether he’ll be back on a bike.

The 41-year-old will undergo a number of scans on Tuesday for a progress report from his surgeon, where he’s hoping there’ll be news about how he can move forward.

“Things have been really difficult lately as everyone is asking what’s going on, but I’m in limbo a bit!” Byrne told MCN.

“Five or six weeks ago I went to see the doctor and he told me I had to come back six weeks later for a CT scan to see where I’m at.

“It’s been frustrating as the neck is so fixed and still in this halo, I cannot move it at all. It’s not like a wrist where you can flex it or bend it a little and see whether it feels alright. I feel nothing, but that’s not a good thing or a bad thing. I don’t know if it’s better or if it’s worse.

“I’ve got the CT scan on Tuesday, so fingers crossed it’ll be good news. We’ll find out if there’s been any bone growth and if the neck is going to heal naturally or whether it needs to be fused. We’ll find out a lot of things and then go from there. Ultimately, the decision on whether I can ride again will have to come after seeing where everything is. If everything goes well on Tuesday and we can start some more intensive physio I’ll be straight back on it.

“I’ve not given up hope of coming back. I’m here this weekend and I’d love nothing more to be out there… I’ve not got any slower so if my neck is good and I can be 100% I’ll be back.”

Oli Rushby

By Oli Rushby

Former sports reporter covering British Superbikes, World Superbikes and road racing