Sam Coventry showed trademark resilience to pass a tough character test in the recent Dickies British Supersport Championship meet in Thruxton.
Coventry, from Waterlooville, endured a series of problems with his bike on the Andover circuit but still managed to claim creditable finishes of 19th in the sprint and 15th in the feature race.
And the unflappable 23-year-old, who was crowned The News’ young sportsman of the year in 2008, seemed happy enough with his weekend’s work as he reflected on events.
‘Now that is what racing is all about,’ he said.
‘It was a challenging weekend with many lows but it was good to have some great racing in that second race, which ended on a good high.
‘I would like to thank everyone that helps me out and that supports me, my personal sponsor, family and friends.
‘Furthermore, I’d like to thank the team for their dedication and always bringing every element together for me.’
The difficulties began as early as the first practice, with smoke pouring from the bike forcing a withdrawal at lap eight from that particular session.
That came as a real blow to Coventry who had been maintaining a steady pace on a well-heated track.
His team worked tirelessly on the repairs but still things were not quite right, and the vehicle had to be stripped down on two separate occasions.
Despire their best efforts, qualifying turned out to be a disappointment and meant the talented rider had to start down in 24th position on the grid.
However, as he started to feel more comfortable on his Kawasaki Road & Racing Performance bike, racing at speeds of up to 150mph, Coventry’s weekend improved.
And over the course of the 12 laps of the sprint race he had moved his way up to 19th place.
The final feature race saw another leap in the standings, this time up to 15th, resulting in a solid finish to what had threatened to be a disastrous meeting.
It might have been even better in the end, with Coventry just one second out from securing a top-half place.
He will now look to continue his progress at this weekend’s race meet, held at the famous Brands Hatch circuit.