Top ten BSB riders: Leon Camier.

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 – Sixth place:

Name: Leon Camier
Team: Airwaves Ducati
Bike: Ducati 1098R F08
Wins: 3
Podiums: 8
Championship points: 306
Championship position: 5th

Having last been seen nursing a horrific leg injury sustained in a crash at Cadwell Park, Leon Camier nonetheless managed to impress enough in his half-season to secure a plum ride on the Airwaves Ducati in 2008.

The young rider – just 21 years-old at the start of the season – may have had to live up to team-mate Shane Byrne's searing pace, but the relatively inexperienced Camier still made a fine fist of getting amongst the best in 2008.

Undoubtedly buoyed by having arguably the best bike on the grid, Camier took until just the second round at Oulton Park to record his first podium finish (two on the same weekend in fact), but it was Snetterton that really transformed his reputation as supportive team player to genuine challenger.

Fighting off the advances of Leon Haslam initially, Camier embarked on a thrilling head-to-head with team-mate Byrne on the final lap of the first race, the championship leader eking ahead with only a few corners remaining, only for Camier to snatch the lead – and the race win – back just metres from home.

It was almost a double too, but second place in the following race still marked a breakthrough for Camier and assured his status as 'one to watch' in the future.

Sadly, it also led to a mid-season lull in form that saw him score just eight points in four races. Precipitated by a fall at Mallory Park, as well as a more serious one at Oulton Park that ruled him out of the event, it took Camier a while to reach full speed again, but a second win at Croft showed he was back to his best.

He was a winner at Silverstone too to bring his final tally up to three, although it wasn't quite enough to breach the top four in the standings. Nonetheless, Camier remains with GSE in 2009 whereby he will spearhead the team's challenge on the Yamaha. Furthermore, his fifth place in the 2008 standings means he actually heads into next season as arguably the title favourite...

6th – Leon Camier
7th – Michael Rutter
8th – John Laverty
9th – Michael Laverty
10th – Simon Andrews

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

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
2. Leon Camier Airwaves Ducati, Ducati 1098R F08 celebrates his first BSB race win
Jake Dixon, RAF Reserves Kawasaki [Credit: MSV BSB Media]
Jason O`Halloran, Honda Racing [Credit: Ian Hopgood]
Josh Brookes, Anvil Hire Yamaha, [Credit: Ian Hopgood]
Shane Byrne, Be Wiser Ducati, [Credit: Ian Hopgood]
Luke Mossey, JG Speedfit Kawasaki, [Credit: Ian Hopgood]
Peter Hickman, Smiths BMW [Credit: Ian Hopgood]
Tommy Bridewell, Team WD-40 Kawasaki [Credit: Ian Hopgood]
Bradley Ray, Buildbase Suzuki [Credit: Ian Hopgood]
Sylvain Guintoli, Bennetts Suzuki [Credit: Ian Hopgood]
James Ellison, McAMS Yamaha [Credit: Ian Hopgood]
Dan Linfoot, Honda Racing [Credit: Ian Hopgood]
Alastair Seeley, Tyco BMW [Credit: Ian Hopgood]
Lee Jackson, Smiths Racing BMW [Credit: Ian Hopgood]
Haslam, Byrne, Mossey, [Credit: Ian Hopgood]
Shane Byrne, Be Wiser Ducati, [Credit: Ian Hopgood]
Leon Haslam, JG Speedfit Kawasaki [Credit: Ian Hopgood]
Leon Haslam, JG Speedfit Kawasaki [Credit: Ian Hopgood]

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