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Shane Byrne getting to grips with the Aprilia and life in MotoGP

Shane Byrne getting to grips with the Aprilia and life in MotoGP

Shane Byrne getting to grips with the Aprilia and life in MotoGP

British Superbike Champion Shane Byrne completed his second major test alongside his main MotoGP rivals in an intense three-day session at Phillip Island last week. The 26 year old rookie, who burst onto the world scene with a double win as a wildcard at the WSB round at Brands Hatch last year, clocked a best lap time of 1'32.28 - almost two seconds quicker than Aprilia predecessor Colin Edwards' fastest race lap on the same machine at the SKYY VODKA Australian Grand Prix in October and just three tenths off the American's qualifying time. It marked a positive period of progression for ‘Shakey', who revealed his delight to at the end of the final day in Australia.

"The whole two tests in Malaysia and Australia have been real good fun for me," smiled Byrne. "The bike's been totally different, working in a different way – it's just been so much fun to ride. In Europe at the moment, because it's so cool, the bike is ever so fast. It was still fast here but it feels a lot more on the edge in Europe whereas here you can get the thing sliding around a little bit and have a bit of fun. It's bringing on my riding – riding with the guys and following them all around and watching what they're doing and stuff – I just had a great time the whole two tests."

"The guys are working just as hard as I'm trying and that's the important thing – they're back in Italy making things to try and help us get the bike better. At the moment what we've got is what Colin and Nori (Haga) had but in relative terms things are going really well because the lap times they were doing in the race… we're going maybe two seconds a lap or at least 1.5 seconds a lap quicker, consistently, so in terms of how the bike is going… it's going awesome!

"I'm really enjoying riding, the team are great to work with so everything's positive really. There's no point at this stage, when we've got what we've got, looking at what Valentino or Max are doing - that's another day's work! So we'll just chip away, I'll work as hard as I can and I'm sure the boys are doing the same for me so, you know, hopefully we'll be coming forward soon."

Listen to this rest of this exclusive video interview now by clicking the link above or entering the Bzone, where you can also enjoy interviews with Max Biaggi, Loris Capirossi, Nicky Hayden, Norick Abe, Neil Hodgson, Alex Barros, Sete Gibernau and Valentino Rossi after the final day of tests at Phillip Island last week. If you are not a registered subscriber then click on the link anyway and take advantage of one of our special preseason offers, including a premium package deal which features access to all multimedia content throughout the season for just 27 EUROS.

MotoGP, 2003

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