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Shane Byrne: 200mph is ‘cool'

Shane Byrne: 200mph is ‘cool'

Shane Byrne: 200mph is ‘cool'

Shane Byrne spent his first three days as a member of the official MotoGP paddock at Catalunya last weekend and quickly made a name for himself, not only for his friendly nature and open character but also for his performance on the track.

The British Superbike Champion had precious little time to pick his lines on his first visit to the Spanish venue due to the atrocious weather, but was one of the few riders to run up the laps when the conditions were not favourable and reaped the rewards of his hard work as he joined the entertaining battle for times on the final day. His lap time of 1'46.170 left him 16th in a field of 26 riders and just 1.599 seconds off Valentino Rossi.

"In terms of lap times and how close we are to the front it's gone well," said the 27 year old at the end of the session. "If you would have said to me ‘you're going to be a second and a half off the fastest man in the world', then I wouldn't have been be overly disappointed. Position-wise, to be back in 16th is a bit of a kick in the backside but, at the end of the day, we're only a second and a half off the fastest person and I can't be too disappointed."

Having built his reputation in national Supersport and Superbike competitions, Byrne was able to top the almost mythical 200mph mark for the first time in his life aboard the power-happy Aprilia RS3 and admitted that it had been a strange experience.

"Funnily enough on Friday I thought I'd done 200mph – we worked it out at 200.1 or something like that but we actually got the calculation wrong so I'd actually done 199.7 and I was absolutely devastated! Today (Sunday) we had to do 322km/h or something to go 200mph and I've actually gone 334, so I've got no idea how fast I've been!

"It's quite bizarre because I've been so looking forward to doing it – I know it sounds stupid but it's just another little thing that you've done. You get to the end of the straight here and you wouldn't have any idea – it's hard to tell the difference between any of the speeds when it's that fast - but it's cool."

To listen to this interview in full, click the link at the top of the page.

MotoGP, 2004

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