The World Superbike Championship has come to an end for another season and while the headline of Max Biaggi and Aprilia winning the title wasn't saved for the finale in France, there was still plenty to decide further back.

With Biaggi and Leon Haslam assured of first and second places, attention turned to the battle for third, one that was reignited by Carlos Checa's double Imola win. Although it wasn't a perfect day for Checa, Jonathan Rea's withdrawal from race two through injury effectively gifted the position to the Althea Ducati rider.

With a few less errors earlier in the season, Cal Crutchlow would probably be celebrating third in the standings as he ended up just 13 points adrift in fifth, the Yamaha rider nonetheless finishing as the top World Superbike rookie and almost 100 points up on former championship-winning team-mate James Toseland.

Indeed, it was a tale of differing fortunes for the Yamaha riders during the second-half of the season, Toseland's failure to score in the final four races dropping him to a fairly dismal ninth in the standings behind Sylvain Guintoli - who despite failing to get on the podium, did score in every race - and Michel Fabrizio, who popped up to eighth after an otherwise under-performing year.

Interestingly, despite finishing no higher than sixth all year, Shane Byrne comes away from the 2010 season with a top ten finish in the overall standings having sneaked ahead of Troy Corser and the absent Leon Camier

Outside the top ten, Jakub Smrz jumps two positions after a strong race day in France to finish 12th overall, while Tom Sykes ends a fine season for Kawasaki in 14th place. Ruben Xaus drops two positions at the death to end up in 15th.

In the end, 28 riders were able to score points - down on the 42 of 2009 -, with some interesting statistics coming from the final order.

The biggest improver in the standings proved to be Luca Scassa, who managed 85 points compared to 11 in 2009, while Roger Lee Hayden is the highest-placed rider to have never started a WSBK race before this season. The biggest faller would be Fabrizio, down from third to eighth, though it is also worth noting that Max Neukirchner scored 21 more points in his eight pre-injury races with Suzuki last season than he managed in 26 races with Ten Kate Honda...

In the manufacturer standings, Aprilia completed the double fairly comfortably, the Italian firm managing it without any satellite assistance, unlike second place Ducati who had to rely on Althea Racing when the Xerox team floundered. Suzuki was third, despite its lack of factory backing, ahead of Yamaha, Honda, BMW and Kawasaki.

Final 2010 World Superbike Championship rider standings (Previous round position in brackets, 2009 finishing position in italic brackets)

1. (1) (4) Max Biaggi Aprilia Alitalia 451 points2. (2) (6) Leon Haslam Suzuki Alstare 376 4. (4) (7) Carlos Checa Althea Ducati 2973. (3) (5) Jonathan Rea Ten Kate Honda 2925. (5) (-) Cal Crutchlow Yamaha Sterilgarda 2846. (6) (2) Noriyuki Haga Ducati Xerox 2587. (8) (33*) Sylvain Guintoli Suzuki Alstare 1978. (9) (3) Michel Fabrizio Ducati Xerox 1959. (7) (-) James Toseland Yamaha Sterilgarda 18710. (12) (8) Shane Byrne Althea Ducati 16911. (10) (13) Troy Corser BMW Motorrad 16512. (11) (20*) Leon Camier Aprilia Alitalia 16413. (15) (10) Jakub Smrz PATA B&G Ducati/Aprilia 11014. (14) (9) Tom Sykes Kawasaki SRT 10615. (13) (17) Ruben Xaus BMW Motorrad 9616. (16) (26) Lorenzo Lanzi DFX Ducati 8817. (17) (29) Luca Scassa Supersonic Ducati 8518. (18) (16) Max Neukirchner Ten Kate Honda 5419. (19) (-) Chris Vermeulen Kawasaki SRT 1020. (20) (-) Roger Lee Hayden Pedercini Kawasaki 1021. (21) (18) Broc Parkes Echo CRS Honda 922. (23) (24) Matteo Baiocco Pedercini Kawasaki 923. (24) (-) Ian Lowry Kawasaki SRT 924. (22) (-) Joshua Brookes Echo CRS/HM Plant Honda 625. (25) (-) Federico Sandi Gabrielli Aprilia 326. (26) (32) Sheridan Morais EmTek Aprilia 327. (27) (-) Andrew Pitt Reitwagen BMW 328. (28) (-) Fabrizio Lai Echo CRS Honda 2

*Did not compete for full season

2010 World Superbike Championship manufacturer standings (Previous round position in brackets, 2009 finishing position in italic brackets)

1. (1) (4) Aprilia 471 points3. (2) (1) Ducati 4242. (3) (5) Suzuki 4125. (4) (2) Yamaha 3524. (5) (3) Honda 3136. (6) (6) BMW 2017. (7) (7) Kawasaki 113

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