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 - Eighth place:

Name: Max BiaggiNationality: Italian Team: Sterilgarda DucatiBike: Ducati 1098 RS08Wins:0 Podiums: 7Championship points: 238Championship position: 7th

Few riders divide so many opinions as Max Biaggi. For some, the pint-sized Roman's fearless riding is a joy to watch, although his forthright personality ensures Crash.net forums are always full of debate when his name is mentioned.

His second season in the WSBK paddock, having made a big impression on his debut with Suzuki last year, the loss of main sponsor Corona (and possibly much of the money to retain their star rider), meant Biaggi found himself at the semi-works Sterilgarda Ducati team in 2008.

An Italian hero on an Italian bike, it might not have been the factory Xerox machine, but Biaggi's arrival on a twin still raised hopes of a sustained title fight in his sophomore season.

It couldn't have started much better, Biaggi getting close to embarrassing the full factory backed team in Qatar, only for Troy Bayliss to coolly deny him on the final lap of the race. Ironically, that race would prove to be the closest he would get to winning in 2008 as the season generally unravelled around him.

Many will put his loss of form down to a terrifying accident during the second round at Phillip Island, when he crashed after claiming to have been caught out by an early-braking Fonsi Nieto and a subsequent 'notchy gearshift'.

Breaking his wrist (as well as fracturing his finger in a smash at Monza), although Biaggi didn't miss any races, it would take another 11 outings for him to clamber back onto the podium at Misano. Following his Sterilgarda team-mate Ruben Xaus home for a memorable 1-2, the result kick-started a decent run of form for Biaggi, with four more podiums in the following four meetings lifting him back up the championship order.

Although he endured a dismal Portimao round when he couldn't find a rhythm around the circuit, Biaggi did enough to be classified in seventh overall and, perhaps more significantly, as the second best Ducati rider.

Indeed, Biaggi had been heavily linked with Troy Bayliss' vacant seat at Ducati Xerox in 2009, but having told Crash.net that he was towards the top of their list, team manager Davide Tardozzi would eventually snub him in favour of Noriyuki Haga.

Instead, Biaggi embarks on his third new team in as many years having been snapped up by the returning Aprilia team. Back with a factory team and the manufacturer that went a long way to making Biaggi what he is today, the 'Roman Emperor' has already shown in testing that he will remain a force to be reckoned with next season.

Even so, regardless of his form in 2009, Biaggi will continue to create debate - after all, every championship needs to have at least one colourful character...

8th - Max Biaggi9th - Jakub Smrz10th - Michel Fabrizio

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



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