As expected, Max Biaggi walked away with the World Superbike Championship title with one event remaining at Imola, but while the battle for the crown has been concluded, there is still plenty to be decided behind him.

With Biaggi and also Leon Haslam confirmed in first and second positions, Jonathan Rea's proposed absence from the Magny-Cours finale due to injury gives Carlos Checa the perfect opportunity to leapfrog him for what would be an outstanding final result for both him and the Althea Ducati team.

It is also worth noting that Checa will definitely finish the 2010 season as the highest-classified Ducati rider, while his maximum points' haul at Imola has seen Ducati replace Suzuki as Aprilia's closest - if still distant - manufacturers' title challenger. An Italian 1-2 beckons...

While he cannot surpass Checa, Noriyuki Haga continues to make a late charge up the overall order, the Japanese rider just one point shy of Cal Crutchlow now in the battle for fifth.

They in turn have pulled away from seventh place James Toseland, who retains his position despite suffering a pointless weekend at Imola. Indeed, with Sylvain Guintoli, Michel Fabrizio and Troy Corser not enjoying the best of event's either, all they have done is close up.

What it has done, however, is allow Shane Byrne - who won't be retained by Althea in 2011 - to get back into the fight for a top ten finish overall.

With the familiar front runners hitting problems at Imola, some of the lesser fancied riders came to the fore, most notably pole sitter Tom Sykes, who rises to 14th position overall, just three points off Ruben Xaus. Still, it was a good day for Jakub Smrz and Lorenzo Lanzi too, so they are poised just behind in 15 and 16th.

Meanwhile, the number of scorers has risen to 28 with Fabrizio Lai and Federico Sandi getting on the board, though that is still well short of the 42 that claimed points in 2009.

In the manufacturers' standings, Ducati surpassed the ailing Suzuki for second, while Rea's withdrawal was costly for Honda as they lost fourth to Yamaha too. BMW broke through the 200 point barrier for the first time, while Sykes helped Kawasaki surpass 100 points for the first time since 2007.

2010 World Superbike Championship rider standings (Previous round standings position in brackets)

1. (1) Max Biaggi Aprilia Alitalia 413 points 2. (2) Leon Haslam Suzuki Alstare 350 3. (3) Jonathan Rea Ten Kate Honda 288 4. (4) Carlos Checa Althea Ducati 274 5. (5) Cal Crutchlow Yamaha Sterilgarda 239 6. (6) Noriyuki Haga Ducati Xerox 238 7. (7) James Toseland Yamaha Sterilgarda 187 8. (8) Sylvain Guintoli Suzuki Alstare 184 9. (10) Michel Fabrizio Ducati Xerox 169 10. (11) Troy Corser BMW Motorrad 165 11. (9) Leon Camier Aprilia Alitalia 164 12. (12) Shane Byrne Althea Ducati 154 13. (13) Ruben Xaus BMW Motorrad 96 14. (15) Tom Sykes Kawasaki SRT 93 15. (14) Jakub Smrz PATA B&G Ducati/Aprilia 89 16. (17) Lorenzo Lanzi DFX Ducati 83 17. (16) Luca Scassa Supersonic Ducati 70 18. (18) Max Neukirchner Ten Kate Honda 47 19. (19) Chris Vermeulen Kawasaki SRT 10 20. (20) Roger Lee Hayden Pedercini Kawasaki 10 21. (21) Broc Parkes Echo CRS Honda 9 22. (22) Joshua Brookes Echo CRS/HM Plant Honda 6 23. (23) Matteo Baiocco Pedercini Kawasaki 6 24. (24) Ian Lowry Kawasaki SRT 4 25. (-) Federico Sandi Gabrielli Aprilia 3 26. (25) Sheridan Morais EmTek Aprilia 3 27. (26) Andrew Pitt Reitwagen BMW 3 28. (-) Fabrizio Lai Echo CRS Honda 2

2010 World Superbike Championship manufacturer standings (Previous round standings position in brackets)

1. (1) Aprilia 433 points 3. (3) Ducati 392 2. (2) Suzuki 379 5. (5) Yamaha 307 4. (4) Honda 305 6. (6) BMW 201 7. (7) Kawasaki 100