Top ten BSB riders - Leon Haslam.

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 – Fifth place:

Name: Leon Haslam
Team: HM Plant Honda
Bike: Honda CRB1000RR Fireblade
Wins: 5
Podiums: 11
Championship points: 357
Championship position: 2nd

2008 was supposed to be the year that Leon Haslam finally cast off the shackles of being the British Superbike bridesmaid and secure the title he had come so close to on numerous occasions.

You couldn't fault his title favourite status having made the switch during the winter from Airwaves Ducati to HM Plant Honda, winners for the last two seasons. However, things don't always go quite to plan.

Most notably, Haslam was taking his time adapting to four-cylinder machinery after a lengthy amount of time riding the Ducati twin. Indeed, acclimatisation came too slowly for the 'Pocket Rocket' and having been beaten out of the blocks by Shane Byrne, Tom Sykes and even team-mate Cal Crutchlow, Haslam was out of the title running before he had even got going.

Of course, after a series of solid but unspectacular results, Haslam did eventually find his feet, kicking off a tremendous run of form at Knockhill with a maiden win on the Honda bike.

Two more followed in a fine double at Cadwell Park, a further one at Croft and one more at Silverstone. Five wins in just seven races and suddenly Haslam's indifferent form had been forgotten.

Furthermore, it was enough to secure him the runners-up spot in the final standings, although there is a sense that it is still one position lower than he and many others were expecting. That could explain why he only manages fifth place in your poll to find this year's best BSB riders…

For the moment, Haslam's BSB title aspirations are on hold as he returns to the World Superbike fold with Stiggy Motorsport. However, at just 25-years-old, Haslam has plenty of time to secure that elusive accolade, should he ever return.

5th – Leon Haslam
6th – Leon Camier
7th – Michael Rutter
8th – John Laverty
9th – Michael Laverty
10th – Simon Andrews

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

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Haslam, BSB Silverstone. Race 2.
Andy Reid, Tyco BMW, [Credit: TAS Racing]
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]

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Ben Sugden - Unregistered

November 12, 2008 5:36 PM

It's because noone on here likes Haslam Bill. We're a rare breed who think he had a terrific season! 5th!!! for a guy who dominated the 2nd half of the season! it's an outrage I tells ya! Ah well, world superbike ride next season for his efforts! :oD HAHA <~~ the last laugh

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