At one stage during the second World Superbike race at Imola, Carlos Checa was the 2011 champion, but while Marco Melandri was able to delay the inevitable for one more week, three points from the next four races means all bets are off now.

Given he is an 11-time race winner this year, a double victor at Imola in 2010 and started both races from pole position, Checa's win in the second event still came as something of a surprise having shown fairly ordinary pace to that point - at least by his high standards.

Instead, Imola was nearly entirely about Jonathan Rea after his exceptional win in race one, followed by heartbreak in race two. A double win would have catapulted Rea up the championship order, but one maximum score still puts him on the cusp of the top ten again in 11th.

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In fact, those in the championship mid-field enjoyed a profitable day at Imola, with Noriyuki Haga's double podium moving him up from tenth to eighth, while Tom Sykes's fourth also means he remains close to the top ten overall.

Indeed, the margin between seventh place man Sylvain Guintoli down to Sykes in 12th is just 31 points, while the likes of Guintoli and Haga may have an eye on Leon Camier's sixth, even if the Briton did steady some nerves with a fine podium in race two.

Elsewhere, Federico Sandi and Javier Fores became the latest scorers to bring the total number of points' winners up to 34.

Meanwhile, in the manufacturers' standings Ducati remain on course for the 2011 title, 65 points ahead of Aprilia, who - with the help of Haga especially - sneak ahead of Yamaha by a single point. BMW and Kawasaki follow in fourth and fifth, while Honda move ahead of Suzuki after the Japanese manufacturer's sole representative, Michel Fabrizio, suffered his fourth non-score in a row.

2011 World Superbike Championship rider standings (After round 11 of 13, previous round position in brackets)

1.(1) Carlos Checa Althea Ducati 417 points 2.(2) Marco Melandri Yamaha SBK 320 3.(3) Max Biaggi Aprilia Alitalia 281 4.(4) Eugene Laverty Yamaha SBK 256 5.(5) Leon Haslam BMW Motorrad 187 6.(6) Leon Camier Aprilia Alitalia 171 7.(8) Sylvain Guintoli Effenbert-Liberty Ducati 158 8.(10) Noriyuki Haga PATA Aprilia 155 9.(9) Ayrton Badovini BMW Italia 147 10.(7) Michel Fabrizio Suzuki Alstare 141 11.(12) Jonathan Rea Castrol Honda 138 12.(11) Tom Sykes Kawasaki RTS 127 13.(13) Joan Lascorz Kawasaki Racing 125 14.(14) Jakub Smrz Effenbert-Liberty Ducati 118 15.(15) Troy Corser BMW Motorrad 71 16.(16) Ruben Xaus Castrol Honda 49 17.(17) Maxime Berger Supersonic Ducati 45 18.(18) Roberto Rolfo Pedercini Kawasaki 39 19.(19) Mark Aitchison Pedercini Kawasaki 36 20.(20) John Hopkins Samsung Crescent Suzuki 20 21.(21) Chris Vermeulen Kawasaki Racing 14 22.(22) James Toseland BMW Italia 13 23.(23) Lorenzo Lanzi BMW Italia 10 24.(24) Josh Waters Yoshimura Suzuki 8 25.(-) Federico Sandi Althea Ducati 7 26.(26) Alessandro Polita Barni Ducati 5 27.(25) Matteo Baiocco Barni Ducati 4 28.(27) Barry Veneman BMW Italia 3 29.(28) Jon Kirkham Samsung Crescent Suzuki 3 30.(-) Javier Fores BMW Italia 2 31.(29) Bryan Staring Pedercini Kawasaki 1 32.(30) Fabrizio Lai Echo CRS Honda 1 33.(31) Alex Lowes Castrol Honda 1 34.(32) Viktor Kispataki Prop-Tech Honda 1

2011 World Superbike Championship manufacturer standings

1.(1) Ducati 441 points 2.(3) Aprilia 376 3.(2) Yamaha 375 4.(4) BMW 232 5.(5) Kawasaki 192 6.(7) Honda 162 7.(6) Suzuki 158