Last weekend saw the MCE British Superbikes descend on the long and windy gp circuit that is Brands Hatch for round 7 where the championship is getting nail bitingly close. Dickies Supersport were to have three outings on this particular occasion, one from a previous meeting that had yet to be settled.
13 was to be unlucky for Sam Coventry in free practice one as he crashed out on the 13th lap giving his team masses of work to do in little time but with excellent team work and great management it all pulled together ready for a second free practice where he dropped 2 places from the earlier session.
Qualifying in 21st position he needed to focus on climbing up the pack early on and pulling away from the groups. Race one was about to commence when it all went wrong. The gearbox had failed and he had no choice but to wheel himself off the grid slapping the tank of the bike in sheer frustration. Coventry walked back to the paddock angry and fed up as there appeared to be no light at the end of this tunnel but before he really had time to take it all in he was out again for Race 2 on a gloriously sunny Saturday afternoon. Quick out of the blocks into turn one, there was nothing sluggish about Coventry as he over took ruthlessly at Paddock Hill bend on the inside and up to Druids hair pin where he over took again with aggression. He was flying at this point and soon the 20’s were behind him and he was up into the teens. After 12 laps he brought the team ‘Road and Racing Performance’ bike home in 13th place which suddenly was to be lucky for Sam. “That is what racing is all about, my start position was not great but it was good to finally be up in the mix. I was overtaking some really talented riders so that boosted my confidence no end. The bike felt spot on as well which was awesome, I'll now sit down with the team and take the information from this race and aim to make tomorrows race an even better result.” And so he did as race day commenced and the seats in the grandstand where filling up quickly. Sam Coventry, 22 from Waterlooville sat in his chair contemplating the weekend they had had already.
His third race was to be 14 laps around the 2.43 mile circuit. Last checks on the bike were made before making his way to the grid with his head held high. He started 17th on the grid and could feel the pressure, this only making him stronger as the lights went out and the bikes roared down to the first corner, Coventry had an excellent start gaining even by the time he had completed the first lap. The safety car was deployed on lap 5 as Ross Twyman and Matt Truelove sunk their bikes into the gravel and the tyre wall at Clearways (last corner) which was a horrific crash but all riders are now said to be ok. Having a safety car can either be great for a rider as it gives time to all bunch back together or it can be disastrous as if you are pulling away this then takes away that advantage. Sam however gained from this bringing the bike home in 9th position. A delighted team waved him over the line for the chequered flag. “You know what they say ‘third time lucky’. That felt really good and to come away from Brands Hatch with a top ten is what I have been waiting for. This is where I would like to be for the rest of the season.”
“I would just like to say a massive thank you to all who support me week in week out, my team ‘Road & Racing Performance’, my family and all of my great sponsors, Oxford Products, Kushitani, Tudor Installations, Pipe Werx, Purbrook Garage Services and Maxton Suspension.
We would like to ask if anyone wishes to be a part of the sponsorship side of things please get in touch with us as it all is a great help and we can promote your company on the bike which gets national coverage. firstname.lastname@example.org
Photo credit - Camipix Photography
The next stop on the MCE British Superbike calendar was the furthest south of all the circuits, Thruxton in Andover. The sun was out and the track temperatures were up for the first time this season, so with our fingers crossed they set up the awning and got ready for free practice 1. Sam Coventry, from Waterlooville in Portsmouth, head out on to the well heated track and was keeping a steady pace until 8 laps in he was forced to pull in and withdraw from the remainder of the session, due to a mechanical.
His team of mechanics which includes Mark Hanna and Sam’s father John fixed the issue ready for free practice 2 that afternoon. The second practice session was a big improvement and after 15 laps Sam had gone from 22nd to 17th but with luck not on his side as he pulled into pit lane something did not feel right. The team found the bike had developed a misfire and it was sorted ready for tomorrow.
Saturday was a new day and with that Coventry, 23 went out on to the ‘Road Race Performance’ bike with a fresh outlook as it is important that each session on the bike is a learning curve, positive mental attitude and focus is vital for this to work with speeds up to 150mph. He struggled and with minutes to go before the chequered flag it was looking like a row 8 start, in 24th position out of 29. This is not somewhere that Sam is used to being so he was not best pleased.
Looking out at the many bikes in front of him he knew he had to make up the places in the first couple of laps. He leant forward over the fuel tank, revving the bike with the clutch and throttle at the ready. The lights went out, they roared down into the first corner and Sam was making up positions already. He was doing extremely well battling his way through and as the sprint race went on to the later stages he was riding on his own unable to catch Lorenzo Zanetti who was too far in front, thus settling for 19th place.
Sunday came around quickly and as the nervous started to kick in the focus was certainly in Sam Coventry’s eyes. With a grid position of 19th, he had 16 laps to gain on that. The clouds loomed but it was not to be declared a wet race unless it started to shower but they looked to be safe. Off they went around the 11 corner track and within seconds he was up two positions.
He battled with Perrin, Day, Collier and Stafford in which was a heroic ride getting the crowd on their feet every lap as they passed each other on the last chicane right in front of the grandstand. As he tore over the finish line with the back wheel wobbling all over the place he was happy with 15th place.
Coventry: “Now that is what racing is all about”, he said as he took his helmet off in pit lane.
“It was a challenging weekend with many lows but it was good to have some great racing in that second race ending on a good high. I would like to thank everyone that helps me out and that supports me my personal sponsor’s family and friends. Furthermore, I’d like to thank the team for their dedication and always bringing every element together for me.”
Thank-you to all the team sponsors and my personal sponsors: Road and Racing, Pro-Bolt, Pipe Werx, Oxford Products, Kushitani, Motul, Maxton, R&G, NGK, Performance Friction, HJC, Motor Parts Direct, Tudor Installations. M&C Training, Purbrook Garage, NFmoto and Holland Autos.