The grid may have been thin at times and it was clear from the outset who would emerge as the only realistic title contenders, but the 2010 World Supersport Championship has once again served up some enthralling races.

New champion Kenan Sofuoglu, Eugene Laverty and also Joan Lascorz before his accident threw up some outstanding performances that were a class above the competition.

In the end, consistency won out over raw speed as Sofuoglu's three wins and impeccable podium record was enough to see off Laverty's eight wins and single DNF, the Irishman finishing up as bridesmaid for a second season in a row.

Nonetheless, with Laverty confirmed as heading to Yamaha in World Superbikes next year, and Lascorz apparently also heading in that direction, as well as Sofuoglu pitching for Moto2, the gulf they leave behind will be massive.

Indeed, no other rider got close in 2010, though that doesn't mean to say their performances were any less worthy.

Chaz Davies deserves a special mention for his incredible performances on the Triumph Daytona 675, a bike that clearly didn't have the performance of the top Hondas and Kawasakis. Nonetheless, the Welshman was a three-time podium winner, finished all but two races inside the top five and should have overhauled the absent Lascorz for third were it not for his Imola heartbreak.

He was also well clear - 54 points - of his nearest rival, that of Michele Pirro, who led a tight fight for fifth with just 16 points covering five riders. In the end, the Italian's fortuitous win at Imola saw him sneak ahead of Triumph's David Salom on count-back after they both finished on the same points. One point further back, Robbin Harms was seventh in his first season as a rider-manager, while Massimo Roccoli rather luckily edged Gino Rea - second across the line in Germany - for eighth after the Briton failed the score in the final three races.

As mentioned, however, the Supersport grid suffered from a lack of entries at times, though interestingly wild-cards ensured there would be 38 riders on the final points' table - one more than 2009.

Perhaps the more telling statistic, however, is that - whether through injury, wild-cards or financial woes -, just managed a complete season in 2010.

With the top three set for pastures new in 2011, the Supersport series has some serious thinking to do over the winter...

Final 2010 World Supersport Championship rider standings

1. Kenan Sofuoglu Ten Kate Honda 263 points 2. Eugene Laverty Parkalgar Honda 252 3. Joan Lascorz Motocard Kawasaki 168 4. Chaz Davies BE1 Triumph 153 5. Michele Pirro Ten Kate Honda 99 6. David Salom BE1 Triumph 99 7. Robbin Harms Harms Benjan Honda 98 8. Massimo Roccoli Intermoto Honda 84 9. Gino Rea Intermoto Honda 83 10. Katsuaki Fujiwara Motocard Kawasaki 81 11. Matthieu Lagrive BE1 Triumph 70 12. Miguel Praia Parkalgar Honda 66 13. Fabien Foret Lorenzini Kawasaki 65 14. Roberto Tamburini Bike Service Yamaha 32 15. Broc Parkes Motocard Kawasaki 29 16. Alexander Lundh Cresto Guide Honda 24 17. Jason DiSalvo BE1 Triumph 21 18. Vittorio Iannuzzo BE1 Triumph 15 19. Danilo Dell'Omo Kuja Honda 13 20. Gianluca Vizziello Verimotor 2000 Honda 10 21. Mark Aitchison Kuja Honda9 22. Cristiano Migliorati Puccetti Kawasaki8 23. Alessio Palumbo Puccetti Kawasaki 8 24. Bastien Chesaux Harms Benjan Honda 8 25. Sam Lowes GNS Honda 6 26. Lance Isaacs BikeFin SafeSky Honda 5 27. Axel Maurin Falcone Yamaha 5 28. James Westmoreland CAME Yamaha 5 29. Florian Marino Ten Kate Junior Honda 4 30. Christian Iddon Cresto Guide Honda 4 31. Daniel Bukowski Bogdenka Honda 3 32. Billy McConnell CAME Yamaha 3 33. Andrea Boscoscuro Kuja Honda 3 34. Sebastien Charpentier BE1 Triumph 3 35. Paola Cazzola Kuja Honda 3 36. Imre Toth Toth Honda 2 37. Giuseppe Barone RCGM 2B Yamaha 2 38. Thomas Holubec Intermoto Honda 1

Final 2010 World Supersport Championship manufacturer standings

1. Honda 320 points 2. Kawasaki 211 3. Triumph 168 4. Yamaha 37