MotoGP Rider of the Year 2011:2nd Marco SimoncelliYour score out of 10: 8.46 (average)

Team: San Carlo Honda GresiniBike: RC212V (factory)Wins: 0Podiums: 2Poles: 2Championship points: 139 (8.7 points per start average)Championship position: 6th

Marco Simoncelli's tragic accident at Sepang robbed MotoGP of one of its most exciting rising stars.

The Italian's second season in the class saw the young Honda Gresini rider prove he had the raw speed to run with the very best: Simoncelli claimed seven front row starts and two podiums, including a career best second place just one week before his death.

Simoncelli, who had a factory specification Honda, was also the top satellite team rider in the championship.

Early season mistakes and accidents saw further podium chances, and possibly race wins, slip away - while the controversial collision with Dani Pedrosa at Le Mans resulted in widespread criticism from fellow riders.

Simoncelli's 'no-prisoners' riding style was in stark contrast to his laid-back and fun-loving personality, all qualities that caught the eye of fans around the world and made the long-haired former 250cc world champion far more popular than his race results would suggest.

Perhaps as a final salute to Simoncelli, fans voted the much missed Italian second in their MotoGP Rider of the Year poll, with an average score of 8.46 out of 10.

Ciao Marco.'s MotoGP Rider of the Year vote 2011:
2. Marco Simoncelli 8.46
3. Jorge Lorenzo 7.86
4. Ben Spies 7.32
5. Dani Pedrosa 7.24
6. Andrea Dovizioso 7.07
7. Alvaro Bautista 6.81
8. Colin Edwards 6.20
9. Nicky Hayden 6.00
10. Valentino Rossi 5.96

About the vote: Over 79,000 votes were cast during this year's MotoGP poll, which asked viewers to award each of the 17 full-time riders a score out of 10.

As well as results, viewers were asked to take into account factors such as machinery specification, performance relative to team-mates, injuries, plus the ability to communicate with fans and promote the sport.

The full 17-rider rundown will be listed after the winner is announced on December 31.

Do you agree the poll results? If not, why not? Leave your comments below...



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