Top ten BSB riders - Tom Sykes.

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 – Second place:

Name: Tom Sykes
Team: Rizla Suzuki
Bike: Suzuki GSX-R1000 K8
Wins: 3
Podiums: 11
Championship points: 316
Championship position: 4th

2008 has the potential to go down in British motorcycle folklore as the 'year of Tom Sykes'.

True, he didn't win the BSB title (in fact he eventually faded to fourth position overall), but Sykes's second half to this season did give a tantalising glimpse of the future, one that was crucially noticed by the high-profile Yamaha Italia World Superbike team, his home for 2009.

Returning the Rizla Suzuki team back to prominence this year, although bad luck and misfortune defined his start to the season (think his coming together with Leon Haslam at Oulton Park and his spectacular engine failure at Brands Hatch), it made his mid-season charge of three straight wins all the more impressive.

Pole position at Cadwell Park was a sign of things to come, but his two wins at Oulton Park, followed by a third consecutive triumph at Knockhill, saw Sykes surge into the position of runner-up elect.

As it happens, an indifferent end to the year, namely his second coming together with Haslam at Silverstone and mechanical problem at Brands Hatch, meant he couldn't quite maintain that momentum, but Sykes arguably made a bigger impression than his final results suggest.

Much of that is to do with his World Superbike wild-card outings that ultimately led to his plum ride at Yamaha next season. Impressing at Brands Hatch and very nearly winning at Donington Park aboard a BSB-specification bike, Sykes may have just missed out on history, but those 20 laps were still crucial in assuring his future in the sport.

Yamaha didn't just notice either – you very nearly voted Sykes as your top rider of the year, the 'Grinner' missing the number one spot by a mere 0.1 average out of ten… Stay with tomorrow to see who you voted as your top BSB Rider of the Year.

2nd – Tom Sykes
3rd – James Ellison
4th – Cal Crutchlow
5th – Leon Haslam
6th – Leon Camier
7th – Michael Rutter
8th – John Laverty
9th – Michael Laverty
10th – Simon Andrews

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
66. Tom Sykes Rizla Suzuki, Suzuki GSX-R1000 K8
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]
Leon Haslam, JG Speedfit Kawasaki [Credit: Ian Hopgood]

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