A 16-year-old Napier youth is in a serious condition in hospital after falling off his bike while training at a downhill mountain-biking track on Sunday.

Drew Strother was airlifted by the Lowe Corporation Rescue Helicopter from the track near Tangoio, north of Napier, to Hawke's Bay Hospital.

A hospital spokeswoman said the teenager was in a serious condition in the high-dependency unit last night.

Hawke's Bay Mountain Bike Club chairman Scott Richardson said Drew was part of a youth development team that regularly had downhill mountain-biking training days and described him as a "hot young prospect".

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During Sunday's training session, Drew went off a jump and didn't land correctly, going over the handlebars. He received a broken leg, broken ribs and a punctured lung.

Mr Richardson predicted Drew would need a year's break from mountain-biking to recover.

"The nature of the beast is that these guys are pushing the limits."