FreestyleXtreme Magazine Issue 25 - Page 93

Shane Byrne them together because they were open and the vertebrae are bolted on, so my back is done. That’s not going to be a problem. The complication is that my neck wasn’t great when I was last there. Obviously in the five weeks I’ve had a lot of treatment: in the hyperbaric chamber, laser and magnetic field therapy - everything I can possibly do to help, I’ve been doing. So there is absolutely no chance that I can have any regrets when I see the Doctor on Tuesday and think “s**t, why didn’t I do this or that, why didn’t I just make a bit more of an effort”. I’ve worked really, really hard to do the best job I can so that when I see him on Tuesday, he can say it’s fine or it’s not! I just don’t know which way it will go at the minute. If the news is good, and you regain full range of movement in your neck again do you want to come back to racing bikes again? Yeah. One hundred percent. I don’t feel ready to stop! You know how life is… I didn’t go to Snetterton thinking I’m going to retire at the end of this year. I went to Snetterton thinking let’s make it ten or twelve wins rather than eight or ten. I was thinking let’s try and make it three Championships on the bounce. Let’s wait for the new V4 from Ducati, maybe do a year on that and see how it goes - take a view on it at the end of that year. I feel that there is a lot more racing left in me - it’s just that there won’t be any left in me if I can only be 99.9%. The crash was really close to the mark, and one of the problems at the moment is that the top bone in my neck is open at the front, so it’s not like a complete circle. Which in itself isn’t a massive problem, but the back of it was broken away too - where it is broken at the back is exactly where your spinal cord is. At the moment, my surgeon is telling me had he just taken everything off and just gone with it, you only need to have a little crash - and sort of bang your head on the floor – and there is nothing to stop the bone cutting through the spinal cord. And obviously you know what that means. If that is still the case on Tuesday and he says to me that it’s not going to get any better, then obviously I can’t carry on racing. I’ve got a wife and two young kids, I’m not willing to take that risk. But at the same time, if he tells me, “you know, what it’s going to be as strong as ever, it might even be stronger” - as you know what bones are like once they have calcified - then maybe we can think about getting some tests done at the end of the season. You know, seeing what the craic is. You have had an incredibly successful career, especially in the UK. Is there anything you feel you missed out on? Not getting that factory shot at a WSBK title that many of your peers got, does that irritate you? Do you know what, that is my one - not regret because then you are talking like your career is over - but all I’ve ever wanted to be was a World Champion, from the word go. And I believe if you are not aspiring to be that World Champion, there is no point in putting your crash helmet on; you may as well just go and do a normal job. I think that maybe this year, if this accident hadn’t happened, maybe we could have fought for another title, and maybe the V4 would have been great next year and we could have fought for another one. But it wouldn’t have mattered if it was another 15 titles, because I only wanted to be a World Champion, you know? And you can’t swap. It’s not like you can go and trade three British titles for a World one. I do wonder sometimes why didn’t it happen, you know! Have you given any thought to what you would do should the neck injury be too severe to continue racing? Would you want to continue a role inside the Motorcycling industry? I guess yes, but I haven’t. By that I mean I guess I’d want to be in the industry but I’m not ready to stop. I can’t let those thoughts enter my head at the moment. u