Shane Byrne takes a three-point advantage over fellow former MotoGP rider John Hopkins into the fourth round of the MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship at Thruxton on Bank Holiday Monday.

HM Plant Honda rider Byrne is the only person to have won two BSB races so far this year, including a win last time out at Croft.

The Englishman also has a good past record at Thruxton, with a double victory in 2003, on his way to the first of his two British titles, and then a first and a second as he regained the crown in 2008.

"We had another win last time out at Croft and I really want to maintain that momentum at Thruxton," he said. "I am really looking forward to the weekend and I think it should suit my bike from a performance point of view.

"Thruxton is all about speed and I think with a few more steps before the race we should be back up the front again and challenging for some more wins and those podium credits.

"The last time I raced there I had a win and last year HM Plant Honda won so hopefully that bodes well ahead of the weekend."

Team-mate and reigning triple champion Ryuichi Kiyonari, a race winner earlier in the season at Oulton Park, needs to re-kindle the form that took him to a winning double at Thruxton as he eased to his first British crown in 2005.

Since then he has not made the top step of the podium at the track, although he has twice taken a third place and once a second.

"Last year Thruxton was a good race for the team with a win, although I just missed out on the podium," said the Japanese, presently fourth in the 2011 standings. "It was a very hard weekend at Croft for me and the team, but I am going to Thruxton and I want to try and do again what I did at Oulton Park - I want to win and be back on the podium.

"I hope that we can work hard in free practice and qualifying to make changes to solve the problems we had at Croft so that we can be fast and pushing for wins."

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