Coventry learns lessons at wet Oulton Park

Sam Coventry. Picture: Camipix
Sam Coventry. Picture: Camipix
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Sam Coventry focused on the positives after a disappointing visit to Oulton Park on the bank holiday weekend.

The Waterlooville rider acknowledged he made the wrong tyre choice as the English weather left Pirelli National Superstock 1000 Championship riders scratching their heads in Cheshire.

After qualifying on the seventh row of the grid – and following a rain-enforced restart, Coventry was forced to pull out of the contest as the heavens opened again.

Prior to his decision to pit on safety grounds, he had been scrapping it out among the top 10.

The 22-year-old was delighted about that, alongside the improvements he made throughout practice and qualifying.

He will now set his sights on the World Superbikes at Donington at the end of the month.

Coventry said: ‘It was such a buzz to be competing in the top 10.

‘I had to make a very quick decision in a small amount of time and it was not the right one on the day.

‘I have learnt a great deal this round and have improved after every session, so I’m happy with that. I will set my focus now to the World Superbikes.’

After two sessions of quality practice with his G&S team, Coventry placed 27th out of 40 riders.

He knew there was room for improvement, having saved his fastest lap until the very end.

Qualifying took place on day two and he gradually stepped up the pace during his 30-minute session.

By the end – and with 14 laps completed – he was confirmed on row seven of the grid, on the inside of the track, nearest the pit wall and the first corner.

Race day arrived – and so did the rain.

Riders were cautious in the warm-up before a quick turnaround for the race.

A dry race was called only for the heavens to open after five laps, leaving the marshals to bring out the red flag.

Riders frantically prepared for the restart as a wet race was declared.

Coventry decided on a wet front tyre and a dry rear, gambling on no further rain.

He made a great start, as he tussled with Ashley Buxton and Majel Smrz and soon found himself in the top 10.

But the rain returned and, with the track like an ice rink and Coventry quickly losing position, he took the decision to retire.