We at Crash.net
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 – Third place:
Hydrex Bike Animal Honda
Honda CRB1000RR Fireblade
He didn't win a race, he scored a relatively meagre four podiums and he finished the year in seventh position overall – yet James Ellison did enough for you in 2008 to be voted as the third best BSB rider of the year.
The statistics don't tell the full story for Ellison, who arrived in BSB after stints in MotoGP and AMA that threatened to push him towards obscurity. Joining Shaun Muir's Hydrex Bike Animal team, Ellison showed flashes of brilliance throughout 2008, leading at Oulton Park and Donington Park, even if he wasn't quite able to break his victory duck.
Second place finishes at the two Oulton Park rounds signalled the highlights of his season, but his third place at the Brands Hatch season-finale, where he fought off Leon Haslam, Leon Camier and Tom Sykes, was arguably his finest result.
It is these performances on unfancied machinery that has garnered your support in this poll, not mention Ellison's approachable personality that makes him a popular figure here on Crash.net
Ellison has his big break in 2009 though – a chance at the title with GSE Racing and the brand new Yamaha R1. A favourite among many observers, Ellison could very well be number one in our 2009 BSB Rider of the Year poll this time next year...
3rd – James Ellison
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 two in the BSB Rider of the Year poll.