Having finished the 2009 World Superbike season in second place, Noriyuki Haga repeated that position in your rider of the year vote.
Moving from Yamaha to Ducati to replace retiring triple world champion Troy Bayliss, Haga made a storming start to the season with victory on his 1198 debut - then finished first or second in the next eight races.
With his title lead peaking at a huge 85 points (over team-mate Michel Fabrizio) after six rounds, Haga looked set to become Japan's first ever WSBK champion.
But unfortunately for Haga, he was up against Ben Spies, who put together the best rookie season in WSBK history to snatch the title from Haga by six points at the Portimao finale.
Nevertheless Haga, who fought back from injury at Donington Park, finished his tenth full season of WSBK action with a best-yet eight race wins and 19 podiums from the 28 races.
This season marked the third time Haga has finished WSBK runner-up and, with Spies moving to MotoGP, the Japanese hero faces perhaps his last shot at world championship glory after signing to stay at Ducati Xerox for 2010.
Top 10 WSBK Rider of the Year 2008:
Top 10 WSBK Rider of the Year 2009:
- Max Biaggi
- Jonathan Rea
- Leon Haslam
- Michel Fabrizio
- Regis Laconi
- Jakub Smrz
- Troy Corser
- Shane Byrne