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 - Ninth place:

Name: Jakub SmrzNationality: CzechTeam: Guandalini DucatiBike: Ducati 1098 RS08Wins:0 Podiums: 0Championship points: 120Championship position: 13th

With much of the grid made up of privateer riders in 2008, the fight to be crowned the best 'independent' competitor this season was a hotly contested one.

Indeed, with barely any chance of a sustained challenge at the front of the field, the unofficial championship for the 'little guys' is almost as interesting as the one that grabs all of the attention and coverage up at the head of the grid.

Nonetheless, you show you haven't forgotten completely about what is going on further down the field by voting in Jakub Smrz as your ninth best rider of 2008.

Ironically, Smrz wasn't the highest placed privateer this season, but while Gregorio Lavilla took the 'title' through sheer consistency, 'Kuba' was arguably the quickest non-works funded rider this year.

A glance at his results list show obvious flashes of speed, with Smrz's best results coming at Assen, Motorsports Park and Donington Park in sixth place, while a further eight top ten finishes confirm he has the pace to run near the front.

However, it is Smrz's excellent performances in qualifying on the distinctive yellow and blue Guandalini Ducati that really caught the attention this year, namely his headline grabbing provisional pole positions at Assen and Brno, not to mention the front row start he achieved at Brands Hatch.

Interestingly, Brno and Brands Hatch turned out to be two of his less successful weekends of the year, essentially defining a campaign in which he showed he has obvious single-lap pace, but isn't quite as convincing over a race distance.

Even so, Smrz was comfortably the quickest privateer in 2008 (provided we don't include the semi-works Sterilgarda Ducati team), but retirements in eight races (compared to Lavilla's two) more than explains the 15 point difference between the two in the overall standings.

Nonetheless, Smrz will be back in 2009, once again as a privateer, but this time he will have a team-mate in the shape of Brendan Roberts and Pierfranseco Chili as his team manager. The factory backed competition may be stronger, but Smrz has already shown he is capable of competing with the best of them, so expect something of the same in 2009.

9th - Jakub Smrz10th - Michel Fabrizio

Tomorrow: Who will be number eight in the WSBK Rider of the Year poll?



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