Sam Coventry an the Road & Race team travelled all the way to the cathedral of speed last weekend for the penultimate round of the BSB Championship. This was to be the third time he has ventured over the water to Assen in Holland, needless to say it is one of his favourite circuits. Arriving safely and with plenty of time to set up the truck awning and the bike before heading out on to the circuit for Free Practice Friday. Coventry said to the team “Conditions were very tricky but manageable” to the crew in pitlane, then making the decision to change the set up on the bike.
Saturday came along and so did the rain and it really was torrential forcing a late start as there was standing water on the track, it was now just a waiting game until the clouds cleared. Safely able to ride, the British Superbikes were out first which fortunately dried up a lot of the water considerably before Coventry made his appearance for qualifying, the time was ticking and his bike whistled over the line in 13rd place placing him on the outside next to Joe Collier on row 5 for the sprint race. Focused and nimble he went on his outlap, this is when the nerves kick in for rider, but sam nick named ‘Covey’ was as cool as a cucumber. He roared off the start line, wrenching the handle bars from side to side trying to keep control of the bike in windy conditions. He had a tremendous battle with riders from 11th to 18th and was running 13th until the most minor of mistakes was made coming out of the hair pin resulting in falling back to 17th. Buzzing from battling with so many riders thumbs up and had shakes all round on the cool down lap, the team was pleased with that but there was still room for improvement.
The grid for the feature race on Sunday is made up of timings from the sprint race placing Coventry, 22 from Waterlooville in Portsmouth in 22nd place leaving him some work to do. They had a delayed start on race day as the rain decided it was going to fall just as they went on there green flag lap forcing them to pull in to the pit lane for a tyre change. With not much time at all to change and heat up tyres it was a race against the clock. Going out again for the out lap it had stopped raining. Proceeding to go on his green flag lap the rain came down again in sector 1 and 3. With a team decision of wet tyres he set off and it was the right decision as he made up places rapidly. Soon he was in 19th place overtaking riders on the inside of corners and even went for an outside move, the crowd gasped and cheered as it was a successful taking him up to 13th place. He battled with Joe Collier for the remainder of the race for 12th, both making some great moves but Coventry had the bike spinning on a wet curb on the last corner and he got pipped on the line.
“I would like to say a massive thank you to all that travelled over to support me and 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.”
This next meeting was to be the third to last of the Dickies Supersport Championship where Sammy Coventry was to once again be racing for as many points as possible. Donington Park was the destination in Derbyshire, the home to the Melbourne loop and Craner Curves. The bike was running the best it had all year coming away from Oulton Park so he had high hopes for the next couple of days.
As Friday approached and the long drive from Bournemouth and the set up was complete, he went through his preparation for FP1 & 2. Just as the first couple of laps were completed the rain started to fall making the track very slippery so he settled with 16th place and went on to move up one spot to 15th in the his second outing onto the windy track.
Qualifying was to be a challenge as well, the rain had gone and it was a sunny day with good temperature but the cross winds were strong enough be moving the bike around. His position stayed consistent throughout the entire session and he pulled in to the pit lane with a final grid place of 15th. “It has been tough with the conditions and it being such a wide open track, the bike is feeling great so I am gonna give it every thing I have got this afternoon for the Sprint Race.” Coventry lined up in his position on the grid and all 27 of the riders rolled out along the windy track on the green flag lap. As the came through Goddards, the last corner the tension was definitely evident. Before you knew it they were off racing around Redgate the first bend and down through Craner Curves. He over took on the inside, carefully squeezing through gaps that any spectator would not even see being there which was making watching the race so exciting. Coventry went into 12th place by lap 4 and kept pushing until he tucked in behind Freddy Pett, biding his time until he chose to go around the out side, an amazing overtake which sent the crowd wild at the hairpin. He had a great battle with Luke Hedger and Joe Collier to take the Road & Race bike over the line in 10th position, punching the air with joy and thanking his team.
Sam Coventry was buzzing and ready to go for the feature race on Sunday and doing it with style from 10th position he held his position until making a tiny mistake going into the Esses struggling with lack of grip. He went down to 14th place and was unable to make up any positions but he was happy with a good weekend before taking a week off to prepare for Assen. “I am so happy with the vibe within the team, i don’t know what I would do without them. they have really stepped up with me and the bike and done an amazing job and I am looking forward to Assen, I hope to see you all there, Thank you for all the support.”
Thank-you to all the team sponsors and Sam's 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 and Holland Autos.