Top ten BSB riders: John Laverty.

We at recently invited you to cast your vote for your favourite riders in this year's Bennetts British Superbikes season by rating their efforts out of ten.

Now, having crunched the numbers and tapped the calculators we will begin to start counting down the riders you believe were most deserving of your plaudits in 2008.

Over the next ten days, we will be revealing the top ten in reverse order, with the winner being revealed on Friday 14 November. Almost 12,000 votes were cast on the BSB poll, with each riders average score out of ten then being calculated to decide the winner.

BSB Rider of the Year – Eighth place:

Name: John Laverty
Team: Buildbase NW200 Ducati (Cup)
Bike: Ducati 1098R F08
Wins: 0 (11 Cup wins)
Podiums: 0 (20 Cup podiums)
Championship points: 49 (469 Cup points)
Championship position: 17th (1st in Cup)

John Laverty is unique in this poll as being the only rider to finish outside the overall top ten in the British Superbike standings, yet still comfortably make your vote as the eighth top rider of the season.

It is little surprise though. While 17th in the overall standings, with 49 points and a best result of eighth place may not say much, it is his outstanding performance in the Superbike Cup class that really merits his place amongst the best this year.

The statistics speak for themselves: 11 wins, 20 podiums and a winning margin of 131 points – Laverty led the way from the off and simply dominated from that point in.

Although his supremacy was tested in the latter stages of the season by the rapid Gary Mason (he actually finished ahead of Laverty in the overall standings), he wasn't consistent enough to trouble him as a Cup rider.

Furthermore, Laverty's feats weren't even achieved on a Superbike as his Buildbase NW Ducati, prepared by crack outfit North West 200, was mostly a Superstock regulation machine.

As such, Laverty is destined for a big future in the Superbike class, with hopes that he will graduate to the premier sector with the same team.

“If I can get the finances in place then I'd like to be with them in the Superbike class, alongside Michael Rutter again,” he told following the final round of the season. “This year we struggled because our bikes were different so we couldn't help out. If we can help each other then we can be up there from the start.”

8th – John Laverty
9th – Michael Laverty
10th – Simon Andrews

Tomorrow: We reach number seven in the BSB Rider of the Year poll.

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
BSB Croft. Race 1. John Laverty 201. Buildbase NW 200 Ducati. Superbike Cup Winner.
Peter Hickman, Smiths BMW [Credit: Ian Hopgood]
Josh Brookes, Anvil Hire Yamaha, [Credit: Ian Hopgood]
Shane Byrne, Josh Brookes, [Credit: Ian Hopgood]
Leon Haslam, Shane Byrne, Dan Linfoot [Credit: Ian Hopgood]
Shane Byrne, Be Wiser Ducati, [Credit: Ian Hopgood]
Luke Mossey, JG Speedfit Kawasaki, [Credit: Ian Hopgood]
BSB, race start, Brands Hatch, [Credit: Ian Hopgood]
Shane Byrne, Be Wiser Ducati, [Credit: Ian Hopgood]
BSB race action, Brands Hatch [Credit: Ian Hopgood]
James Ellison, McAMS Yamaha [Credit: Ian Hopgood]
Josh Brookes, Anvil Hire Yamaha, [Credit: Ian Hopgood]
Josh Brookes, Anvil Hire Yamaha, [Credit: Ian Hopgood]
Josh Brookes, Anvil Hire Yamaha, [Credit: Ian Hopgood]
James Ellison, McAMS Yamaha [Credit: Ian Hopgood]
John Hopkins, British Moto Rapido [Credit: Ian Hopgood]
Tommy Bridewell, Team WD-40 Kawasaki [Credit: Ian Hopgood]
Shane Byrne, Be Wiser Ducati, [Credit: Ian Hopgood]

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