Magherafelt’s Paul Jordan has his sights set on podium glory at the 2019 fonaCAB International North West 200 in association with Nicholl Oils.
The 27 year old, who made his North West debut in the 2010 125cc race at Portrush, will start in six races during May 12-18 race week. Jordan will be mounted on a Dafabet Devitt’s superstock spec Kawasaki ZX10RR for all four of the big bike NW200 races plus Alastair Russell’s R6 Yamaha in the Supersport events.
‘I’ve never really had a lot of North West luck.’ Jordan said.
‘Usually I’ve been racing bikes there that I haven’t ridden before so I was starting on the back foot. But this year will be a different kettle of fish as the bikes will be a lot more familiar to me.’
Jordan, whose best North West finish is an 8th place in the 2014 Supersport event on a Gearlink Kawasaki, feels his best shot at a rostrum finish will come on the R6.
‘I want a really good crack at the 600cc races.’ he explained.
‘I will do plenty of homework and then get stuck in. I want to try to build on every practice and qualifying session and watch what the top riders like Alastair Seeley are doing. I will try to pick up some of the wee things they do that I don’t.’
Jordan enjoyed an impressive close to his 2018 season, winning the Supersport race at Armoy before grabbing the opportunity he was offered by Roy and Ben Constable to join their Dafabet Devitt’s Kawasaki squad for the Ulster Grand Prix. Strong performances at Dundrod saw the Magherafelt rider being retained by the team for the Macau Grand Prix and then offered a seat for 2019. The 27 year old wants to carry that momentum forward to the North West.
‘’I surprised myself at last year’s Ulster Grand Prix because I jumped in to it all with the team without much time to learn or settle in.’ he explained.
‘But I was able to run with the leaders by the end of the event, taking a 6th in the Superstock race and 4th in the Superbike race. Plus I did a 131mph lap. The Dafabet Devitt’s team is a family affair and nobody is pushing me to get results because they know that I really want to get them for myself.’
Working with the English squad has also provided plenty of bike time in the build up to Jordan’s 2019 season with pre-season testing in Spain and a BSB outing at Silverstone. He will race the Russell R6 Yamaha at Cookstown this weekend but has opted for another run on the ZX10RR Dafabet Devitt’s stocker Kawasaki at Oulton instead of taking in the Tandragee 100. With practice and racing for six events scheduled at Portrush, Jordan feels he will benefit from the extra track time.
‘Before I only had one bike at the North West but with two machines this year I will have a lot more track time and that will help me get up to speed quicker.’ he said.
‘With six races I will have a chance to improve in each one but it does mean that it is going to be busy!’