British Super Bike – Introduction
The MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship (BSB) is one of the greatest domestic bike series in the world, and continues to produce some of the sport’s hottest properties.
The MCE BSB bikes average more than 180bhp and are capable of reaching 200mph. If you haven’t witnessed the atmosphere first hand, the explosive acceleration off the line or the riders rubbing elbows at incredible speeds – then you really should!
MCE BSB has a huge following of fans who follow the championship around the UK, and that is a testament to the teams and riders who push themselves and their bikes to the limit, whilst never forgetting that they’re racing to entertain the massive crowds at the circuits.
MCE BSB is now a globally recognised brand, broadcast live throughout Europe and Asia, with some of the world’s best riders and most prestigious manufacturers. And, above all, it’s possibly the most thrilling spectator sport on the planet!
Name: Shane Byrne
Team: Be Wiser Ducati
Born: Friday 10th December 1976
Home: Lambeth, London
Likes: Cycling, riding motorcycles, flying helicopters
About: Shakey was club racing in ’97 he got noticed by Colin Schiller who owned and ran Fastbikes magazine, soon after Shakey started testing for the magazine and Colin got Shakey plenty of tests on race bikes which quickly aided Shakey along the way towards British Superbikes.
Byrne emerged in the British Superbike Championship in 1999, initially on a private Kawasaki. In 2001 he finished eighth in the championship onboard the performance house Suzuki, which was raced in the world Superbike Championship in 1997 by the Harris brothers and is now being restored back to this specification. Byrne had five top-five finishes in the 2001 season and was champion of the Cup for privateers; he was the privateer winner in 22 races out of 26.
He then joined Renegade Ducati for 2002, taking his first British Superbike Championship win, replacing reigning champion Steve Hislop with MonsterMob for 2003. He stunned the paddock by storming to a string of wins, taking the title with ease. He impressed further by achieving a double win at Brands Hatch for the British round of the Superbike World Championship.
For 2004 he joined fellow Brit Jeremy McWilliams in MotoGP with Aprilia, although he missed several races because of injury. He spent much of 2005 racing for Kenny Roberts‘ team on a KTM bike, before they were forced to pull out due to an internal dispute between the chassis and engine manufacturers He raced in Malaysia and Qatar for Camel Honda, replacing the injured Troy Bayliss. But after finishing 14th and 13th, Byrne did not impress Honda and was replaced by Chris Vermeulen.
Twenty-four hours after clinching the British Superbike Championship, Byrne confirmed that he would compete in the 2009 World Superbike Championship with the Sterilgarda Ducati team along with Alex Polita. This was his first full-time World Superbike Championship, although he has made successful wild card appearances in the past. Byrne became Sterilgarda Ducati’s sole rider in February (due to apparent financial problems forcing Polita out) and recorded his first podium with the team in second place in the first race at the San Marino round of the Championship.
Due to financial problems, the Sterilgarda team failed to announce its intention to compete in the 2010 Superbike World Championship season, leaving Byrne without a confirmed ride for 2010. In November 2009, Byrne announced that he had signed with the Althea Racing team for the 2010 season. He raced alongside former Honda rider Carlos Checa. He was well behind Checa in performance and had no top-five finishes by midseason. He said he was “bitterly disappointed” with the season as a whole.
For 2006 he returned to the British Superbike Championship with Rizla Suzuki squad. His first podium came in Race Seven despite suffering a severe stomach virus that weekend. He missed Races 11 and 12 after a 187 mph crash caused by a brake failure; he was not seriously injured. At Knockhill he qualified second and followed with a second place finish in Race One. The team’s first win of the season came in Race Two. This was despite the team’s bikes having been stolen and dumped in a barn alongside horse manure the previous week. At the final round of the season he was running third when he highsided, being knocked out in the process. Although he again escaped serious injury, he was unable to compete in the final race of the year, which meant he slipped from fourth to sixth in the championship standings.
For 2007, Byrne was reunited with his former Monstermob boss, Paul Bird, who was now running the Stobart Vent-Axia team, a privateer team using the 1000cc Honda Fireblade. The Honda was competitive from the start, giving Byrne more opportunities to fight at the front. He finished fifth overall, with a win, a pole position, and nine further podiums.
For the 2008 British Superbike Championship, Byrne competed for the Airwaves Ducati squad on a Ducati 1098 alongside Leon Camier. The combo was immediately dominant. Byrne won three of the opening four races. In the second race at Oulton Park he went wide on Lap One, dropping to 13th place, but he fought back. Almost immediately after he passed Cal Crutchlow for third place, Leon Haslam hit Tom Sykes, giving Byrne the lead. This race was stopped four laps early after several riders, including Crutchlow and Karl Harris fell. In Race Two at Snetterton he was held up by a crash involving Harris on Lap One, dropping to 13th position before fighting back for the win. He finished each of the first 14 races on the podium, often coming through the field after poor starts.
2011 also the 1st year of the Showdown and on the return to BSB Shakey actually scored the most points that year but due to the points format that wasn’t enough to take the title, something he would become somewhat accustomed to in years to come!
In 2012 Byrne made a return to Paul Bird Motorsport along with Stuart Easton.
In 2016 Byrne again comped in British Superbike Championship on a fully factory supported Ducati Panigale R sponsored by Be Wiser Insurance.