Top ten BSB riders: Cal Crutchlow.

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 – Fourth place:

Name: Cal Crutchlow
Team: HM Plant Honda
Bike: Honda CRB1000RR Fireblade
Wins: 2
Podiums: 12
Championship points: 318
Championship position: 3rd

While much of the pre-season attention was on his team-mate, to some extent Cal Crutchlow embarrassed his more experienced HM Plant counterpart Leon Haslam in 2008 – a fact recognised by the fact you voted Crutchlow ahead of Haslam in your poll.

The only rider to breach Shane Byrne's clean sheet in the first eight races of the season, wins at Thruxton and Brands Hatch actually kept Crutchlow within fighting range of the Ducati rider heading into the busy mid-season.

However, Crutchlow's hopes were effectively ended by errors of his own doing, namely his falls at Knockhill and Cadwell Park, and the improved competitiveness of rivals like Haslam, Tom Sykes and Leon Camier that swallowed him up and made the fight for first as close as the fight for fifth.

Crutchlow didn't win again, although his frequent visits to the podium ensured that he was in the right place at the right time when Sykes retired in the final race of the season, bumping him back up to third position overall.

Still, with his star turns on the world stage at Donington Park and Portimao in mind, it is easy to forget how far Crutchlow has come in 2008. It makes you wonder if he should have committed himself to the World Supersport Championship in 2009 when he is arguably WSBK material…

4th – Cal Crutchlow
5th – Leon Haslam
6th – Leon Camier
7th – Michael Rutter
8th – John Laverty
9th – Michael Laverty
10th – Simon Andrews

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

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
35. Cal Crutchlow HM Plant Honda, Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade, celebrating, race win, race 2
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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