As expected, the World Superbike Championship title fight will go down to the wire in Portugal after Noriyuki Haga and Ben Spies took a win apiece in France.

Even so, the advantage is very much with Haga heading to Portimao as his first and second place finish - compared to Spies' first and fourth - gives him a ten point margin over his arch rival.

The ten point difference remains potentially significant, though, as it puts Haga and Spies in prime position to finish the season level on points should the American win both races and his rival follows him in second. Crucially, however, Spies potential 15 wins - compared to Haga's eight - would mean that the title would be going Yamaha's way by the very slimmest of margins...

The fight for the championship is officially down to two following Magny-Cours after Michel Fabrizio's slim hopes were dealt a fatal blow with a fall in race two. Nonetheless, fourth in the first encounter also means he can't be caught for third now either.

The fight for fourth overall, meanwhile, has moved in favour of Max Biaggi, whose double podium finish - coupled to Jonathan Rea's race one retirement - puts him a comfortable 14 points ahead with two races remaining.

Further back, two retirements for Tom Sykes means he is left fighting off the attentions of Shane Byrne in the battle for eighth in the standings, the duo split by ten points now following the Sterilgarda man's double top ten finish.

Troy Corser continues on the ascension too after finally riseing above sidelined trio max Neukirchner, Shinya Nakano and Regis Laconi for 12th in the standings.

Other notable gains include Karl Muggeridge, up three positions to 21st and Matteo Baiocco, who jumps from 33rd to 27th after a scoring points in both races for Guandalini Ducati.

Meanwhile, two new point scorers - David Salom and David Checa - bring the total number of people to get on the score sheet this season to 41.

Full World Superbike Championship rider standings (After 13 rounds of 14 - Previous position in brackets)

1. (1) Noriyuki Haga Ducati Xerox 436 points2. (2) Ben Spies Yamaha WSB 4263. (3) Michel Fabrizio Ducati Xerox 3464. (5) Max Biaggi Aprilia 2935. (4) Jonathan Rea Ten Kate Honda 2796. (6) Leon Haslam Stiggy Honda 2417. (7) Carlos Checa Ten Kate Honda 2008. (8) Tom Sykes Yamaha WSB 1769. (10) Shane Byrne Sterilgarda Ducati 16610. (9) Jakub Smrz Guandalini Ducati 16111. (11) Ryuichi Kiyonari Ten Kate Honda 14112. (12) Yukio Kagayama Suzuki Alstare 12313. (15) Troy Corser BMW Alpha 8914. (13) Shinya Nakano Aprilia 8615. (14) Regis Laconi DFX Ducati 7716. (16) Max Neukirchner Suzuki Alstare 7517. (17) Ruben Xaus BMW Alpha 6618. (18) Broc Parkes Kawasaki WSB 4219. (19) Matthieu Lagrive Althea Honda 2420. (21) Fonsi Nieto Suzuki Alstare/DFX Ducati 2221. (24) Karl Muggeridge Celani Suzuki/Suzuki Alstare 2122. (20) John Hopkins Stiggy Honda 1723. (22) Marco Simoncelli Aprilia 1624. (23) Lorenzo Lanzi DFX Ducati 1525. (24) Leon Camier Airwaves Yamaha/Aprilia 1326. (25) Gregorio Lavilla Guandalini Ducati 1227. (33) Matteo Baiocco Guandalini Ducati 1128. (27) Jamie Hacking Kawasaki WSB 929. (28) Makoto Tamada Kawasaki WSB 830. (29) James Ellison Airwaves Yamaha 831. (30) Sheridan Morais Kawasaki WSB 832. (31) Simon Andrews MSS Colchester Kawasaki 633. (32) Tommy Hill Althea Honda 634. (34) Luca Scassa Pedercini Kawasaki 835. (35) Brendan Roberts Guandalini Ducati 336. (36) Roberto Rolfo Stiggy Honda 337. (-) David Salom Pedercini Kawasaki 238. (37) Vittorio Iannuzzo SCI Honda 239. (38) Jake Zemke Stiggy Honda 140. (39) Alessandro Polita Celani Suzuki 141. (-) David Checa Yamaha GMT 94 1

Full World Superbike Championship manufacturer standings (After 13 rounds of 14 - Previous position in brackets)

1. (1) Ducati 534 points2. (2) Yamaha 4693. (3) Honda 3954. (4) Aprilia 3035. (5) Suzuki 1676. (6) BMW 1267. (7) Kawasaki 67



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