Shane 'Shakey' Byrne has promised to come back stronger than ever in 2012 after his Brands Hatch winning double proved to be in vain. The HM Plant Honda rider held off Jon Kirkham to win the first of Sunday's races before dominating the second, but a qualifying crash and sixth place finish on Saturday effectively ended his title challenge.
Victory in race two was Byrne's first since the birth of his second daughter Lilly-Jade and the Londoner admitted he was prepared to do whatever it took to take the chequered flag first.
“That win in the first race of the day race felt like I had just won the championship! We gave it everything at the weekend and I wanted nothing less than two race wins on Sunday. We had a good start but in the first laps I didn’t do a very good job of avoiding the damp patches and I had a few moments – in fact more than I think I have had in my whole career! I didn’t know who was behind me but I knew I wasn’t prepared to let them through as I wanted that win badly. The second win was great for me and the team but at the same time I felt a bit empty as all that hard work and great wins but for no championship title.”
With this year's title eluding him, going in the end to Tommy Hill, Byrne is now turning his attentions to next season and regaining the title which he won in 2003 and 2008.
“After the first race of the day I didn't initially realise I couldn't still win the championship, but then the boys said to me just get out there and enjoy it and that's what I did. Every lap I kept thinking why did Donington and Silverstone go so wrong? I was desperate to achieve the last two wins of the season and on Sunday we won the battle but we didn't quite manage the war. The double win was a great result for the HM Plant Honda team for all their hard work all season. Missing out this year means I have something to come back for next year and I will certainly be throwing some grenades then!”
Team Manager Havier Beltran was full of praise for his leading rider as he proved his championship credentials despite ending the year in third overall.
“Shakey did a fantastic job by taking the double win at Brands Hatch and he couldn't have done any more. At the beginning of Sunday the championship was realistically unfortunately out of reach so all he could do was end the season with two victories and that is exactly what he did and it was a classy performance from him and we couldn't have asked for more.”