Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki rider Shane 'Shakey' Byrne admits he has a real fight on his hands if he is to achieve a milestone 50th MCE British Superbike Championship victory at Oulton Park today.

Byrne fought out an engrossing battle with James Ellison in the first of the weekend's three BSB races yesterday, but had to settle for the runner-up position despite his best efforts.

The triple BSB champion is already assured of his place in the Showdown courtesy of yesterday's performance but that has not lessened Byrne's desire to scale the top step at the Cheshire circuit.

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"I think it was a similar scenario to Brands Hatch for James following me. The Yamaha here is phenomenal but I rode as hard as I could," he said.

"I saw James getting away from Alex [Lowes] a bit and I passed him, then James and I pulled a little bit of a gap at the front.

"I think our lap times were the same as we were stronger in different places on the track. He did a great job in that race and we were both pushing right until the end; my fastest lap was the penultimate one so that shows just how hard we were pushing," added Byrne.

"It was important to achieve a Showdown place here and hopefully we can have a win or two."

Byrne is joined on the front row by Samsung Honda's Alex Lowes, Milwaukee Yamaha rider Ellison plus Ryuichi Kiyonari on the second Samsung Honda.