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 – and we have reached number one!
So, drum roll please as we reveal that your BSB Rider of Year is… Shane Byrne…
BSB Rider of the Year – First place:
Ducati 1098R F08
Just in case you hadn't guessed already, Shane Byrne has indeed won Crash.net's
poll to find your
BSB Rider of the Year, receiving an impressive average score of 8.66. Tom Sykes did come close to causing a surprise, but while we can't help but love an underdog, the sheer scale of Byrne's achievements this year can't go unrewarded.
Still, while his win in this vote his hardly an upset, by comparison his dominant title win this season was a little more surprising.
A former champion that had lost his way in recent years, the indecision of whether GSE Racing will continue into 2008 played in his favour as Gregorio Lavilla sought WSBK fame and Leon Haslam switched to champions HM Plant Honda.
Byrne was a secret weapon though, one that hadn't had the chance to relive the glory of his 2003 triumph. Luckily for him, he had a bike that was up to the task this time, creating a marriage that was very nearly unstoppable.
His year had a bit of everything. Domination through his seven wins in the first ten races; controversy over the strength of the Ducati 1098; heart in mouth moments at Knockhill and Croft… but most of all, Byrne was humble enough to always acknowledge the efforts of the team.
After all, harmony relaxes you. And relaxation is an envious state in motorsport because it often leads to great things. It means Byrne could finish the first lap of a race in 13th (at Snetterton) and still come through to win comfortably. It means he could finish all but one race inside the top five. It means he could win on ten occasions and finish off the podium just three times!
Having cut a popular figure in the BSB paddock for a couple of years, Byrne now heads back to the world stage in 2009 but after the dominance of his 2008 performance, his legacy won't disappear quite so quickly.
To see the full results of the BSB Rider of the Year poll, CLICK HERE
Watch out for the countdown to your MotoGP Rider of the Year starting next week