As the World Superbike season tips over into the second half, it is getting hard to imagine anyone other than Carlos Checa as the 2011 World Superbike Champion.

Two imperious performances on the Althea Ducati have increased Checa's advantage at the top of the standings to 72 points, with Max Biaggi doing well to keep the increase pegged at just eleven points.

Indeed, Checa's rivals have little answer to the Spaniard at the moment, though they can potentially take heart from the fact that, two years ago, Noriyuki Haga commanded an 85 point lead after six rounds of the 2009 season - and we all know how that finished...

A costly DNF has seen Marco Melandri slip back to third place, though he is lucky not to have Eugene Laverty on his tail, the Irishman missing a great opportunity to bridge the 27 point gap between them when he also crashed in race two.

A fruitful day for some of the lesser fancied riders, things have closed up between Leon Haslam in fifth place, down to Noriyuki Haga in 12th, a fairly meagre 36 points separating them.

Between them, Leon Camier is up to sixth overall, despite failing to finish race two, while he along with Michel Fabrizio demoted the injured Jonathan Rea to eighth. A non-score for Jakub Smrz has seen team-mate Sylvain Guintoli close on him in ninth and tenth, while both have the rapidly improving Ayrton Badovini for close company in 11th now.

Good results for Haga and Tom Sykes place them 12th and 13th, with Joan Lascorz moving up to 14th at the expense of Troy Corser.

Meanwhile, four more riders have been added to the points' table, with Chris Vermeulen scoring his first top ten finish for Kawasaki, while wild-card duo Matteo Baiocco and Alessandro Polita, and BMW Italia Lorenzo Lanzi also are also on the board.

2011 World Superbike Championship rider standings (After round 6 of 13, previous round position in brackets)

1.(1) Carlos Checa Althea Ducati 245 points 2.(3) Max Biaggi Aprilia Alitalia 173 3.(2) Marco Melandri Yamaha SBK 150 4.(4) Eugene Laverty Yamaha SBK 123 5.(5) Leon Haslam BMW Motorrad 106 6.(7) Leon Camier Aprilia Alitalia 101 7.(8) Michel Fabrizio Suzuki Alstare 95 8.(6) Jonathan Rea Castrol Honda 94 9.(9) Jakub Smrz Effenbert-Liberty Ducati 83 10.(10) Sylvain Guintoli Effenbert-Liberty Ducati 72 11.(12) Ayrton Badovini BMW Italia 72 12.(11) Noriyuki Haga PATA Aprilia 70 13.(13) Tom Sykes Kawasaki RTS 65 14.(15) Joan Lascorz Kawasaki Racing 53 15.(14) Troy Corser BMW Motorrad 49 16.(16) Ruben Xaus Castrol Honda 44 17.(17) Roberto Rolfo Pedercini Kawasaki 19 18.(18) Maxime Berger Supersonic Ducati 18 19.(19) Mark Aitchison Pedercini Kawasaki 9 20.(-) Chris Vermeulen Kawasaki Racing 8 21.(20) Josh Waters Yoshimura Suzuki 8 22.(-) Matteo Baiocco Barni Ducati 4 23.(-) Alessandro Polita Barni Ducati 3 24.(-) Lorenzo Lanzi BMW Italia 3 25.(21) Barry Veneman BMW Italia 3 26.(22) James Toseland BMW Italia 3 27.(23) Bryan Staring Pedercini Kawasaki 1 28.(24) Fabrizio Lai Echo CRS Honda 1

2011 World Superbike Championship manufacturer standings

1.(1) Ducati 252 points 2.(2) Aprilia 212 3.(3) Yamaha 190 4.(4) BMW 138 5.(5) Honda 111 6.(6) Suzuki 99 7.(7) Kawasaki 89