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.