Shane Byrne felt he's had to race harder than he's done for many years to secure vital second and fourth place finishes at Thruxton to guarantee his Showdown spot.

The PBM Kawasaki rider relinquished his top spot in the MCE British Superbike championship standings to Milwaukee Yamaha's Josh Brookes after the Australian notched up another double winning weekend, but his haul of points was enough to confirm a Showdown spot for the end of the year.

The four-time BSB champion says he can't remember struggling to find race pace so badly for many years but is leaving the Hampshire circuit satisfied with his results after ending Saturday's qualifying trailing in 17th.

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"I feel like I've had to ride better today than I've had to ride for a long, long time and it was really strange racing with guys I'm not used to racing against," Byrne said. "It has been such a difficult weekend for us.

"In all of the years I have ridden for Paul Bird Motorsport, be it on Kawasaki or Honda or even Ducati I don't recall ever having such a difficult weekend."

The PBM Kawasaki rider says he struggled to get to grips with fighting in the midfield having started race one from 17th and was taken aback by the do-or-die nature compared to his typical tactical battles at the sharp end of the grid.

"I know when Josh, Kiyo or James and I race we all know what each other are going to do and we know when you've taken a liberty and give a liberty back," he said. "But the boys down the field want to win at every single corner.

"It doesn't really work like that and I can't understand how they haven't fathomed it yet. Give me a fight with Josh and the boys any day!"