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 Saturday 20th December.

WSBK Rider of the Year - Second place:

Name: Noriyuki HagaNationality: JapaneseTeam: Yamaha Italia Bike: Yamaha YZF-R1Wins:7 Podiums: 11Championship points: 327Championship position: 3rd

The perennial 'nearly-man' of the World Superbike Championship entered 2008 as the perennial favourite to win this year's title.

Now the most successful rider not to have a WSBK title under his belt, Haga scaled the all-time list to number four this year thanks to seven race wins and a further four podiums.

Even so, that was only good enough to secure third position overall as Haga indulged in his reputation of being blindingly fast one weekend, yet somewhat anonymous at the next.

When Haga was good, he was outstanding, though. His image as the 'Samurai of Slide' was very much in evidence on a number of occasions, but particularly in his thrilling tussles with Troy Bayliss at Vallelunga and Magny-Cours.

Indeed, Haga at times looked equally as good, if not quicker, than Bayliss, but while his historic sparring partner was consistently battling for podiums, Haga's form hit crests and troughs throughout the season.

That tallest crest was undoubtedly his double victory at the Nurburgring, which came just two weeks after he had broken his collarbone in the USA. Sporting some heavy bandages and riding through the pain, Haga certainly earned himself some new fans on that day. Later in the year, he came close to matching that performance with a win at Vallelunga just two days after suffering a terrifying crash in a wet practice session.

With crests come troughs though and this low point was arguably at Donington Park. Suffering an engine blow on his Yamaha half-way around the lap, Haga should have pulled off the circuit immediately but instead made his way back to the pit lane, leaving a trail of oil that caused carnage at one corner (including a fall for his team-mate Troy Corser) and forced the race to be stopped.

His punishment was a drive-through during the second race, but when Haga took it too early, he was black-flagged and disqualified. Parking his bike up on the pit-wall, Haga enamoured himself to few people on that day.

Nonetheless, while he lost his record for finishing ahead of every team-mate he has raced against, Haga did enough in 2008 to convince Ducati Xerox that he is the man to front the defence of their title next year.

As such, Haga will once again go into 2009 claiming 'favourite' status - only this could be his best, and last, chance to truly deliver...

2nd - Noriyuki Haga3rd - Troy Corser4th - Max Neukirchner5th - Ryuichi Kiyonari6th - Ruben Xaus7th - Carlos Checa8th - Max Biaggi9th - Jakub Smrz10th - Michel Fabrizio

Tomorrow: Who is the winner in your WSBK Rider of the Year poll?



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