Shane Byrne: British Superbike champion sets sights on hat-trick of titles

Shane Byrne
Shane Byrne has more British Superbike Championship race wins than any other rider

Shane 'Shakey' Byrne is aiming for a hat-trick next year after successfully defending his British Superbike Championship title for the first time.

Byrne, 40, overhauled a 33-point deficit in the final three races at Brands Hatch to beat Leon Haslam, who suffered a spectacular crash.

It was the Kent rider's sixth title - but the first back-to-back success.

"It was unbelievable because defending a championship is something that I've been desperate to do," he said.

  • Byrne's BSB titles: 2003, 2008, 2012, 2014, 2016, 2017

"I've either left the championships, gone and ridden in the World Championship or I've finished second the following year, so I've never defended a title - it's something I've always wanted to do."

Byrne is the most successful rider in British Superbike Championship history, with no other rider having won more than three titles.

Although he has previously spent time in both MotoGP and World Superbikes, he plans to return next year and try to match Niall Mackenzie's achievement of winning three consecutive titles between 1996 and 1998.

He told BBC Radio Kent: "Winning a championship is never easy but defending one is even more difficult - it's not very often it happens in BSB and now I've managed to tick it off.

"We'll be back next year to see if we can make it a triple, which would be cool.

"It's never going to get any easier; it'll only get tougher as there's not much more we can do with this model of bike."

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