Not winning? Not interested

by Shane Byrne on 9th May 2016

Shane ‘Shakey’ Byrne was speaking to FUCHS Silkolene, one of the main partners of the four-time British Superbike Champion

Our weekend at Oulton Park didn’t go to plan.

Our team doesn’t turn up to events to race to sixth and eighth but unfortunately that’s where I finished. In truth I wasn’t even aware where I had finished until long after the race; if I’m not in a winning position then I’m not interested.

It was a shame because it was a big weekend for me as it was my 300th race start – but that doesn’t matter if you’re not winning. That may make me sound like a spoilt child but these are the standards that we set ourselves as a team.

Oulton Park was always going to be a little bit difficult for us as most of our competitors had tested there a week before as part of an official British Superbike test. We were unable to get on that and so went to Knockhill in Scotland instead. When you start three hours behind the competition you know it will be an uphill task. You have to get going and get up to speed, which can be the difference between winning and losing.

Photo BSB/Double Red

Despite all of this we still expected to get to Oulton Park and do a good job. The weather wasn’t on our side and we were constantly having to play catch up. The conditions proved tricky and I crashed during qualifying, which seemed to set the tone for the weekend.

I had the bike set too hard for the wet so for race one we went for a slightly softer race setting, but the track dried out and the bike was then way too soft. It’s unusual for the Oulton Park track to dry out as fast as it did and this caught us out a little in race two, where I opted for the intermediate tyres. After a couple of laps I was confident we’d hit the nail on the head, but to our frustration the fast-drying track meant we soon didn’t have the right set-up for the bike and were hindered again.

It’s never great when you crash, especially when it means you are so far down the grid, but it is something that is part of the job. It’s something I’ve got used to over the years. If you don't get your head around that and are not comfortable with the risk you couldn’t race superbikes.

I knew immediately why I fell off so that’s not an issue that will play on my mind in future races, that’s for sure.

Looking back over the weekend, we learned a lot about the bike. We fixed some of the problems from the opening race at Silverstone during testing at Knockhill, but unfortunately luck wasn’t on our side in Cheshire.

I just can’t wait to get back out there and get back racing at Brands Hatch, it can’t come soon enough.

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