World Superbike champion James Toseland was unable to end his season in winning style after missing out on securing the BBC 'Sports Personality of the Year' award.

The Bennetts-backed rider, who moves on to the MotoGP with the Tech3 Yamaha team for the 2008 season, was one of two motor sport stars to make the ten person shortlist alongside Formula 1 star Lewis Hamilton, with a public vote on the night of the award deciding the winner.

Toseland proved to be one of the stars of the evening as he rode his title-winning HANNspree Ten Kate Honda CBR1000RR into the studio before taking part in a short interview with presenter Adrian Childs. The 27-year-old then completed a piano recital of a specially-written jazz piece accompanied by the BBC concert orchestra.

However Toseland was unable to add to the regional award he won in Yorkshire as boxer Joe Calzaghe secured the honours ahead of Hamilton and fellow boxer Ricky Hatton, with Toseland just outside the top three postitions in fourth.

"I'm obviously disappointed to not have won BBC Sports Personality of the Year, but I am hugely grateful to have even made the top ten shortlist," he said. "There were so many talented sports people in contention for this year's final race so to even be considered among them is really flattering.

"I'd like to thank Bennetts for the support they have given me this season, particularly in the run-up to the ceremony."

Bennetts marketing director Mark Fells shared in Toseland's disappointment at the outcome of the vote, but said they were pleased to see him doing his bit to raise the profile of motorcycle racing.

"This evening's event was a further illustration of the fantastic job that James is doing in raising the profile of motorcycle racing," he said. "He is an awe-inspiring motorcycle racer and a genuinely great guy, so it's a shame that he wasn't voted as this year's BBC Sports Personality of the Year.

"We are extremely proud to support him in his career and look forward to watching him further establish himself as the new Barry Sheene."


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