The Bennetts British Superbike Championship returns from a brief summer break with the series' second trip of the season to Oulton Park.

After a dose of controversy to go with the ever-close racing, the previous Oulton Park round of the championship was certainly a memorable one, although it was Shane Byrne's double victory that is perhaps most notable.

Indeed, that weekend signalled Byrne's first double victory with the Airwaves Ducati team, a result that would prove to be just the tip of the iceberg as he continues his relentless charge towards the title.

Tipping over the half way point in the season, Byrne's 97 point advantage means he effectively has four races in hand over second place Cal Crutchlow, but with no intention of letting up, the advantage is certainly with him this weekend.

Indeed, his double victory at Oulton Park in May is still fresh in both his and his rivals' memories, ensuring that he will no doubt be the rider to beat once again.

Still, while Byrne's place at the top of the standings has been a constant since the season opener, there have been plenty of changes behind as the fight for podium places gets tougher and tougher.

Although Mallory Park was a washout for Leon Camier, the Snetterton winner will appreciate getting a second chance around one of his favourite circuits on an Airwaves Ducati bike he knows considerably better than he did previously.

The same can be said for Cal Crutchlow, Leon Haslam and Tom Sykes, who are the other riders who are probably closest to beating Byrne this weekend.

Of these, only Crutchlow has won a race this season. The HM Plant Honda rider moved back ahead of Camier for second in the standings at Mallory Park, but admits he needs to win this weekend if he has any chance to closing down Byrne's mammoth advantage.

However, while Crutchlow has certainly settled into the team, it has taken Haslam considerably longer and he heads to Oulton Park keen to break his duck with Havier Beltran's outfit.

Admitting he is finding it tricky to adjust to the Honda bike, Haslam has led three of the last six races but hasn't turned any of those into that elusive win. If he wants to succeed at Oulton Park though, he will do well to avoid Sykes' Suzuki this time.

Indeed, Haslam was disqualified last time out at Oulton Park after knocking down Sykes whilst battling over fourth place. Nonetheless, while that accident typified Sykes' start to the year, the Rizla Suzuki rider has certainly started coming good in recent rounds, most notably his pole position at Mallory Park. Although victory still eludes him, he is hoping for a good result ahead of his high-profile World Superbike bow two weeks later at Brands Hatch.

Victory won't necessarily come from this quintet though. Indeed, Michael Rutter caused a stir with his first win in three years at Mallory Park after a stunning ride in slippery conditions. Although a similar performance may require equally treacherous weather, the North West Ducati rider proved he can never be discounted.

If the form last time out at Oulton Park is anything to go by, James Ellison on the Hydrex Animal Bike Honda will be someone to look out for, as well as Michael Laverty, who wasn't rewarded for his mighty performance at Mallory Park on the Relentless Suzuki.

Karl Harris continues his steady march back up the order, the Yamaha rider scoring his best result of the season at Mallory Park. Although fifth is not where Harris would ideally like to be, he continues to show decent pace nonetheless.

Elsewhere, Simon Andrews is chasing a strong result before he joins Sykes in making his World Superbike debut at Brands Hatch, while MSS Discovery Kawasaki welcome back James Haydon for the second race in a row as a replacement for the still injured Stuart Easton.

Meanwhile, in the Daily Star Cup, John Laverty maintains his Byrne-like grip on proceedings, the North West Ducati rider now 116 points up on Tom Tunstall. However, his biggest competition is likely to come from Gary Mason and Chris Burns, the latter of which taking his second win of the season on the sole MV Agusta.