Having asked you to vote for the MotoGP and British Superbike personality you think deserved to be crowned as your top rider of 2008, it is the turn for Crash.net
to countdown the World Superbike top ten, as voted for by you!
Of the three polls, this is arguably the most hotly contested, not least because we gave you a total of 25 riders to rate out of ten.
Having totted up their average scores from almost 25,000 votes, we will be revealing your World Superbike order over the next ten days, with the winner being announced on Friday 19th December.
WSBK Rider of the Year – Sixth place:
Ducati 1098 RS08
Whilst it may not have been the season he was hoping for by his high standards, Ruben Xaus was still able to make enough of an impression on Crash.net
viewers to be voted in as the sixth top rider of 2008.
Possibly a surprise given he finished the season down in tenth position overall, Xaus' season was certainly split into two-halves as a strong start to the year gave way to what would be a disappointing climax.
Spending another season with the Sterilgarda Ducati team, Xaus was immediately on the pace at the season opening Qatar round, managing a fourth in the first race before following that up with a podium in the second. Together with team-mate Max Biaggi going well, Sterilgarda looked to be on for a good season.
A pair of fourths in Australia soon followed and again at Assen, but it was Xaus' performance at Misano that earns him a spot in the upper echelons of your poll. Buoyed by the announcement he will helping BMW in their maiden Superbike season next year, Xaus triumphed in a typically chaotic race to record his first win in over a year.
However, far from it being the start of something good, Xaus' form curiously plummeted from that point onwards. Although being sidelined by illness at Brands Hatch didn't help, Xaus didn't help his cause when he was ejected from the podium at Donington Park following the implication of a little-known rule about the time it takes to get back to the pit lane at the end of a race.
Together with problems at Vallelunga and Magny-Cours and a tumble out of second place at Portimao, Xaus would score just 30 points in the final 12 races to eventually finish the season well adrift from his rivals in tenth position. Indeed, a glance at the results sheet shows Xaus managed a double finish at just four of the 14 rounds.
Nonetheless, while 2008 didn't quite live up to the early promise, Xaus and his distinctive figure has done enough to win plenty of your votes this year. We will see how he fares as a BMW rider in the coming months…
6th – Ruben Xaus
7th – Carlos Checa
8th – Max Biaggi
9th – Jakub Smrz
10th – Michel Fabrizio
Tomorrow: We enter the top five in your WSBK Rider of the Year poll?