YATE’S Luke Hedger has been tipped to win the British 125GP Championship next season after agreeing a deal with the Fireplace Warehouse race team.

The teenager, who turns 16 next month, opted to join the team he won the ThundersportGB 125 Cup Championship with in 2010 after a successful season with Banks Racing, which saw him finish fourth overall and third in the ACU Academy Cup.

Hedger’s style in the British Superbikes support event caught the eye of numerous onlookers this year and FPW were delighted to lure him back to the team after two weeks of negotiations and a successful test at Silverstone.

Hedger is the only rider from the top six of last season’s Championship to continue in 2012 and FPW team owner Adrian Mason believes he could be the one to beat.

“I’m delighted to be working with Luke once again after our championship winning season with ThundersportGB in 2010,” he said.

“We approached Luke as we felt he has what’s needed to win the British 125 GP championship.

“With the 2-stroke era coming to an end I am committed to putting a package together that can win the championship and in Luke I feel as though we have that.

“The test at Silverstone just clarified Luke’s ability. He matched the podium times of the wet 2010 race, and all this during a track day which surprised me considering the traffic he was having to deal with.”

Hedger added: “The test went really well and I am really happy to be back in the team where I rode to win the ThundersportGB 125 GP Cup Championship.”

“This is going to be a really long winter as I am so looking forward to 2012.”

Hedger gained nine podiums last season, became the first debut rider to win the opening race at Brands Hatch in April and started on the front row in nine of the 12 rounds.

He narrowly missed out on a place in the Red Bull Rookies Cup for next season to Bradley Ray after being selected for a trial in Aragon, Spain.

Over 100 competitors were fighting for 11 places in the championship, which is seen as a stepping stone to the Moto GP for the best teenage riders in the world.

There was only space for one Brit and of the 17 that attended Hedger was one of five to make it through to the second day of the Trial and it is thought it was between him and Ray for a place.

Although Hedger has received great support from FPW to allow him to race next year, he is still looking for sponsorship to help cover costs such as the hire of the bike, two engine rebuilds a year and tyre and fuel bills.

His mum, Julie said: “It’s still up in the air a bit and we need people to support him.”

They have set up a website, www.joinclub22.co.uk where people can donate money to Luke. Anyone giving £22 or more will receive a signed photo of him and be put in a draw to win two tickets to the last round of the British Superbikes.

If anyone is interested in sponsoring Luke, contact Julie on 01454 325416.