UK road safety minister David Jamieson has announced the signing of a deal to sponsor this year's British Superbike Championship.

The deal is designed to highlight road safety messages, including the promotion of advanced riding skills assessment.

In 2002, 347 bikers were killed and 2,464 seriously injured in accidents on non built-up roads. In many of these accidents no other vehicles were involved.

Bikers make up around one sixth of road deaths but account for only up one percent of total road traffic. The sponsorship deal will use the strapline "THINK! Keep racing for the Track".

"I am pleased to announce the signing of this sponsorship deal," began Jamieson. "The British Superbikes Championship is a major event for bikers in the UK and will attract large audiences, both at the events themselves and on television.

"Leisure sports bike riding is on the increase. As bikers take advantage of rural roads to test their vehicle's - and their own - full potential, the risks and terrible consequences can be far too high. This deal provides an excellent opportunity to get the THINK! campaign's bike safety messages directly to those most at risk," he concluded.