A couple of days after seeing Kiefer Sutherland in Manchester last month, I was back on the road. This time heading to Hereford for an evening with Shane “Shakey” Byrne, six-time British Superbike Champion.
I was brought up going to watch all kinds of motor racing. Dad would take us to Oulton Park, Mallory Park, Donington Park etc to watch friends racing their motorbikes and sidecars. We would always head to the Paddock to chat with the riders and soak up the atmosphere (and numerous oil and petrol fumes!). I still love going to watch races as an adult but don’t often get the chance to go. Still, I’ve seen Shakey race many times and met him in the pit lane (always take up the chance to walk down the pit lane, if you can!), so the moment tickets went on sale for this event I booked them for myself, my Dad, my brother and a friend.
Shakey is currently sitting out the 2019 British Superbike Championship due to a massive accident during testing in May 2018 at Snetterton in which he ended up with two bruised lungs, fractured ribs (all of them), four broken vertebrae, his neck broken in two places, a broken sternum, a broken collarbone and multiple other back fractures. The fact that he wasn’t paralysed is nothing short of a miracle, even his surgeon didn’t know how he wasn’t paralysed! However, it’s been a long road of recovery and Shakey still doesn’t know if he’ll ever be able to race again. He can’t even ride a push bike in case he does any further damage. He said he’s now got to wait until October before he’ll find out if he can get on a race bike again.
Shakey is now spending 2019 working as a member of the Eurosport team, providing fans with expert analysis for the BSB season. Shakey was joined on stage by fellow Eurosport presenter, Matt Roberts, who played interviewer for the evening. The pair know each other well and are currently working on a book about Shakey’s life (I can’t wait to read it!).
It was really interesting to listen to Shakey talk about his life and I certainly learned a few things. (I didn’t know he was adopted or the lack of prize money in BSB racing these days!). Shakey is a bit of a Jack the lad and we were regaled with tales from his youth, as well as life on and off the track.
The evening included an auction and a raffle (both raising money for a local charity), as well as a Q&A session and photos with Shakey.
The event was arranged by MJK Sports Events. It’s the second MJK Sports event we’ve been to and we’ve got another one lined up later in the year.
It was another great evening. Here’s hoping Shakey’s able to get back on his bike next year and shows the youngsters how it’s done!