BRITISH superbike rider Ollie Bridewell from Etchilhampton, near Devizes, was killed today while practising for the British Superbike Championships at Mallory Park in Leicestershire.

Leicester ambulance service was called to the track at about 1.15pm after he crashed on the wet track. Leicestershire police confirmed Bridewell, 21, had died from his injuries.

A spokesman for the track said Bridwell's bike went out of control on the Esses. He was thrown from the machine and landed heavily on the track. He suffered critical head and neck injuries. An investigation into the accident is underway.

British Superbike Championship spokesman Dave Fern said: "The action this afternoon after the crash was suspended while the incident was dealt with. With the torrential rain it was impossible to start. We are resuming in full tomorrow and all the races on Sunday.

"The accident happened early-on in the first free practice for the Superbikes."

He confirmed Bridewell was killed. Mr Fern said: "The initial evidence that has come back from the marshals and others on the scene was he lost control of his bike going through the Esses section.

He fell from his machine awkwardly and heavily with the track surface and slid into the barriers.

"He sustained critical head and neck injuries and was treated at the track side. The session was stopped immediately. He was transferred to the circuit medical centre and the air ambulance was called.

But unfortunately he succumbed to his injuries at the circuit.

"There is a full investigation both by the racing authorities and the police for the coroner. That is ongoing."Ollie was a very popular and very talented young rider. The tragedy has effected everyone and we extend our deepest sympathies to all his family."

A Leicestershire Police spokeswoman said: "Police were called at 2.17pm to a report of a death of a motorcyclist at Mallory Park. The death is not being treated as suspicious and a file is being prepared for the coroner.

"Identification of the deceased is a matter for the coroner. The Health and Safety Executive has been informed as is standard procedure in incidents of this nature." Ollie and his younger brother Tom joined Team NB for the 2007 British Superbike Championship.

Both have been riding Suzuki's for the new Naturally Best sponsored team, formely known as Vivaldi Racing.

He competed in BSB in 2006, his rookie year, which included his best result of eighth at Donington.

He said at the beginning of the season: "To get another season with the team is a dream come true, as I didn't think it would happen.

"I intend to repay their faith many times over and can't wait to put into practice what I've learnt in my time with the team.

"I'm not planning on letting anyone down and I'm really looking forward to getting back on the bike".