While there were few prizes for guessing who would win the 2011 World Superbike Championship heading into the penultimate round at Magny-Cours, the way Carlos Checa sealed the inevitable is still a remarkable achievement.

Two wins - numbers 13 and 14 - proved Checa as this year's class act, the Spaniard showing his mettle by refusing to merely settle for points. Indeed, he only needed three points, but came away with a maximum of 50.

It means, despite Marco Melandri's best efforts to finish second in both races. Checa's lead heading into the final round stands at triple figures. A good performance there means he stands to win the 2011 championship by one of the largest margins on record against a field of accomplished riders.

Behind Melandri, who is now certain to finish runner-up to Checa, Eugene Laverty nudges ahead of the absent Max Biaggi in third place. Should Biaggi return for Portimao, the two point margin between them will ensure there is something to play for in Portugal.

Leon Haslam has all but secured fifth in the standings with his best results of the season at Magny-Cours, the Briton having now scored more himself in 2011 than BMW did during the entire 2010 season.

Leon Camier remains in sixth place, though Sylvain Guintoli might fancy his chances of overhauling the Aprilia rider at Portimao having gotten to within 15 points of the Englishman. Haga is a further nine points further back, while Ayrton Badovini and Michel Fabrizio complete the top ten, despite the latter suffering his fifth non-score in six races.

Meanwhile, Joan Lascorz was one of the few improvers at the end of the weekend as he surpassed the unlucky Jonathan Rea and also his Kawasaki team-mate Tom Sykes, the Spaniard now in an unexpected position to end the year as the manufacturer's top rider.

In the manufacturers' standings, Ducati has sealed its 17th crown in 24 attempts, thanks mostly to Checa, though Guintoli and Jakub Smrz can also say they did their bit on occasion this year. In fact, between them, Ducati has been off the podium just three times this year.

Yamaha has popped back up to second place carries a 16 point advantage over Aprilia with two races remaining, while BMW is now certain in fourth for their best-ever WSBK season. Kawasaki can also celebrate securing fifth overall, ahead of Honda and Suzuki.

2011 World Superbike Championship rider standings (After round 12 of 13, previous round position in brackets)

1.(1) Carlos Checa Althea Ducati 467 points 2.(2) Marco Melandri Yamaha SBK 360 3.(4) Eugene Laverty Yamaha SBK 283 4.(3) Max Biaggi Aprilia Alitalia 281 5.(5) Leon Haslam BMW Motorrad 216 6.(6) Leon Camier Aprilia Alitalia 194 7.(7) Sylvain Guintoli Effenbert-Liberty Ducati 179 8.(8) Noriyuki Haga PATA Aprilia 170 9.(9) Ayrton Badovini BMW Italia 155 10.(10) Michel Fabrizio Suzuki Alstare 145 11.(13) Joan Lascorz Kawasaki Racing 142 12.(11) Jonathan Rea Castrol Honda 138 13.(12) Tom Sykes Kawasaki RTS 133 14.(14) Jakub Smrz Effenbert-Liberty Ducati 118 15.(15) Troy Corser BMW Motorrad 85 16.(16) Ruben Xaus Castrol Honda 49 17.(17) Maxime Berger Supersonic Ducati 49 18.(18) Roberto Rolfo Pedercini Kawasaki 42 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.(30) Javier Fores BMW Italia 12 24.(23) Lorenzo Lanzi BMW Italia 10 25.(24) Josh Waters Yoshimura Suzuki 8 26.(25) Federico Sandi Althea Ducati 7 27.(26) Alessandro Polita Barni Ducati 5 28.(27) Matteo Baiocco Barni Ducati 4 29.(28) Barry Veneman BMW Italia 3 30.(29) Jon Kirkham Samsung Crescent Suzuki 3 31.(31) Bryan Staring Pedercini Kawasaki 1 32.(32) Fabrizio Lai Echo CRS Honda 1 33.(33) Alex Lowes Castrol Honda 1 34.(34) Viktor Kispataki Prop-Tech Honda 1

2011 World Superbike Championship manufacturer standings

1.(1) Ducati 491 points 2.(3) Yamaha 415 3.(2) Aprilia 399 4.(4) BMW 261 5.(5) Kawasaki 209 6.(6) Honda 162