YATE’S Luke Hedger is closing in on the Monster Energy Motostar British 125GP Championship.

The 16-year-old heads to Assen in the Netherlands for the tenth round out of 12 this weekend with a 42-point lead after finishing fourth at Donington Park.

Adrian Mason, team owner of Hedger’s Fireplace Warehouse racing team, said: “It’s hard not to think about the championship with the lead we have but we are trying to focus on each event to get the max out of Luke and the bike and we succeeded (at Donington).

Hedger was frustrated after qualifying in seventh but made possibly his best start of the season when he made up three places as he entered Redgate for the first time.

Over the course of the ten lap race Hedger was pushed back to fifth by the improving Joe Francis of Banks Racing, however this only lasted for two laps as he regained fourth.

Hedger could not relax for a second, though, as not only did Francis continue to challenge, but Tarren Mackenzie gained ground with every lap that passed in the second half of the race.

Hedger rode a very professional last lap, while the pressure and pace took its toll on Francis, who lowsided at the Fogarty Esses.

Mackenzie finished in fifth, 0.099 of a second behind Hedger, who deserved his hard-fought fourth place and 13 points.

Mason added: “We’ve struggled all weekend to get the bike to punch out of the corners like the power valve machinery with varying degrees of success.

“We couldn’t compete in these areas and concentrated on ensuring Luke was fast in the flowing part of the circuit.

“This worked for us and going to Assen knowing the flowing nature of the circuit I know we’ll be there or thereabouts.

“Luke rode well and really did his best after some difficult sessions during the weekend.”