A broken rib suffered in practice at Silverstone hampered King’s Lynn motorcycle racer Mark Fincham’s title challenge at the weekend.
But despite enduring constant pain and breathing difficulties throughout qualifying and four full races, Mark fought his way to one third-place and three fourth-place finishes to maintain second overall in the MRO Clubman series, and fifth in the main powerbike class.
Having suffered more than his fair share of injuries over the years, including the accident that cost him a leg in 2007, the former Marine, sponsored by Chartwell Insurance, was not about to let his discomfort put him out of the saddle for an event that saw the full international circuit used for a motorcycle organisation for the first time.
“Not being able to breathe very easily I knew the weekend would be very difficult,” said Mark.
“It was wet, which made me even more tentative about riding, but it had to be done. I knew a top finish wouldn’t be likely, but I just needed to limit the damage to my championship chances.”
The accident happened in practice when Mark entered a slow chicane, trailing too much on the front brake and causing the front of the bike to fold beneath him.
Qualifying in 13th of 31 despite the pain, less than two seconds off pole position, Mark held his own in the opening race, finishing eighth overall and fourth in class.
Mark followed up with a third in class in a wet race two, but in race three he said: “The pain had set in hugely now, breathing was a chore even when off the bike, with a longer race to contend with I knew it would be an uphill battle.
“Getting a good start once again I was up with the front guys, but this only lasted up until lap five where I could hardly breathe.”
Mark dropped back into eighth overall, and fourth in class before repeating that finish in the final race of the weekend, ending up just 0.6 seconds off what became the first lap record on the course along the way.
“It wasn’t the weekend I’d hoped for but I’m quite happy considering I couldn’t push as hard as I wanted to,” said Mark.
“Following the crash in testing and the injury sustained I think I limited the damage to the championship to a minimum.”
Mark is next in action at Oulton Park from May 24 to 26.