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 - First place:

Name: Troy BaylissNationality: AustralianTeam: Ducati XeroxBike: Ducati 1098 F08Wins:11 Podiums: 19Championship points: 460Championship position: 1st

How do you end a glittering career on a high? How about a third World Superbike title, 11 wins, 19 podiums in 28 races and a double win on your final outing?

Troy Bayliss could not have ended it in a more convincing way...

For too many revered sportsmen, retirements come as a career enters its twilight stages, where success in more fleeting and the motivation has slowly ebbed away.

For Bayliss, though, he had decided long before the season that 2008 would be his final hurrah, citing the decision as a chance to go out as one of the best riders of all time, while he still loved it and while he was still a title contender.

It was a shrewd move because while 2008 will be considered Bayliss' final season, it is his dominance that will ultimately provide the legacy for years to come.

Desperate to regain some composure after an injury interrupted 2007 season, Bayliss could not have started the season more convincingly, winning the first race of the year at Qatar after coolly picking off Max Biaggi on the final lap of the race.

If that race was close, though, the fight for the title certainly wasn't. Two more wins followed at the ensuing Phillip Island round, before Bayliss completed his second double at Assen. Together with a fourth place and two seconds from the first eight races of the year, Bayliss was already building up an insurmountable lead.

The only glimmer of hope for his rivals was a trio of consecutive DNFs at Monza and Miller Motorsports Park that lifted Carlos Checa into touching distance of the championship lead.

However, despite a fairly quiet performance at the Nurburgring and Misano, Bayliss was still out-scoring his rivals with his unwavering consistency.

A third double at Brno put him straight back in charge, though, before he put the demons of his Donington Park tumble from 2007 behind him with a narrow aggregate win over Tom Sykes.

His season was by no means perfect though, with Bayliss' relaxed style occasionally getting away from him on occasions. Falling at Miller Motorsports Park, Donington Park and Vallelunga, the latter when just metres from the finish line and a title win, when trying just a little too hard proves Bayliss is as much of a fighter as he is content to settle for points.

Sealing the inevitable at Magny-Cours, Bayliss went on to finish his career in the most appropriate way with a double win at Portimao.

An almost perfect year, leading to a perfect conclusion, Bayliss' achievements cannot be underestimated, while the fact he polled with an average of 9.5 shows that you have acknowledged him too.

As such, to all who voted for Bayliss, this message is for you:

"Wow, that's another nice surprise following on from the Moto Sprint awards in Italy. Thanks to everyone who voted for me, and thanks to all the British fans who have supported me and the Ducati team over the years.

"I'll miss the racing and everything that goes with it so much, but I'm not disappearing - you'll all be seeing me again next year for sure!"

1st - Troy Bayliss2nd - Noriyuki Haga3rd - Troy Corser4th - Max Neukirchner5th - Ryuichi Kiyonari6th - Ruben Xaus7th - Carlos Checa8th - Max Biaggi9th - Jakub Smrz10th - Michel Fabrizio



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