THE first round of the British Superbike Championship takes place this weekend at Donington Park when Orpington-based rider Dave Redgate will begin his 2001 campaign in the Privateer Class on his Kawasaki ZX7.

Redgate, right, has secured major sponsorship for this season from clothing accessories company Buff.

Aye-Gee Motorcycles are also backing his team again this year, as are Renegade, who are based at Brands Hatch and are providing exhaust systems.

Redgate is really looking forward to this season and with this excellent backing it gives him a chance to show his full potential.

Redgate was able to go to Nogaro in France to do some pre-season testing and he came away full of praise for the bike's performance. While another factor in Redgate's favour this year will be the availability of a second bike, vital if he is to maintain a challenge to the title-leaders.

If you get the chance to go to any of the meetings this year take the time to go to the paddock and find Redgate's team. You will not miss them complete with their Hawaiian Bar hospitality unit.

Redgate said: It is fantastic to be able to race this season knowing that I have the excellent backing of Buff and a superb team around me.

“This is the first time I have been in such a strong team and I can't wait to show what we are capable of.”