I now have right bikes to land North West 200 win, says Paul Jordan
Magherafelt's Paul Jordan has podium glory in his sights at the 2019 fonaCAB International North West 200 in association with Nicholl Oils.
The 27-year-old will start in six races during race week May 12-18, mounted on Dafabet Devitt's Superstock spec Kawasaki ZX10RR for Superstock and Superbike races, plus Alastair Russell's R6 Yamaha in Supersport events.
Jordan, who made his North West debut in the 2010 125cc race, said: "I've never really had a lot of luck at the North West.
"Usually I've been racing bikes there that I hadn't ridden before, so I was starting on the back foot.
"However, this year will be a different kettle of fish as the bikes will be familiar to me."
The 2015 Irish and Ulster M3 Road Race champion has a best North West finish of 8th position in the 2014 Supersport event on a Gearlink Kawasaki and feels Supersport is his best shot at a rostrum finish.
"I want a really good crack at the 600cc races," he explained.
"I want to build on every practice and qualifying session and watch what the top riders like Alastair Seeley are doing to see if I can pick up some of the wee things, they do that I don't."
Jordan enjoyed an impressive end to the 2018 season with a last gasp Supersport win at Armoy where he overtook Adam McLean in a slipstream manoeuvre close to the chequered flag.
He then grasped an opportunity offered by Roy and Ben Constable to join their Dafabet Devitt's Kawasaki squad for the Ulster Grand Prix following an injury to their rider Ivan Lintin at the Southern 100.
Jordan put in some strong performances at Dundrod where he joined the 130 Club with a lap of 131.148mph on his way to sixth position in the Superstock race, a result he equalled in Supersport 2 before finishing fourth in the UGP Superbike race.
He was then offered a ride with the team at the Macau Grand Prix and then retained for the 2019 season.
"I surprised myself at last year's UGP, because I jumped into it with the team without much time to settle in," he said.
"I was able to run with the leaders by the end of the event 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."
Jordan has had plenty of bike time in the build up to the 2019 season with pre-season testing in Spain and a BSB outing at Silverstone.
At Cookstown tomorrow and Saturday, Jordan will compete on the Russell R6 Yamaha that he won on at Kirkistown on Monday, but will forego Tandragee to get another run on the Dafabet Devitt Kawasaki at Oulton Park in the second round of BSB.
"Before I had only one bike at the North West, but with two machines this year I will have a lot more track time, which should help me get up to speed quicker," Jordan explained.
"It does mean it is going to be a busy meeting, but with six races I will have a chance to improve in each one."
On the Cookstown 100, roads close tomorrow at 12 noon for qualifying and the first race scheduled following the qualifying sessions.
Meanwhile, reigning MotoGP world champion Marc Marquez believes a race in Mexico is inevitable but says it has to be made safe first.
The Autodromo Hermanos Rodríguez runs through the middle of Mexico City when used for F1 but has little or no run off in most areas which makes it a no-go right now.
"We know there is a chance to race there very soon and of course we would be very happy about a race in Mexico," said Marquez.
"But first the security concerns have to be eliminated. But trackside operators are working with the Safety Commission on this matter, so I think the Mexico GP will come sooner or later."
A Mexico race is one of many circuits that are currently jostling for position on the calendar. Also on the verge are the Kymiring in Finland, a new track in Indonesia and the possibility of a date in Khazakhstan.
It is likely that WorldSBK will be the guinea pigs before any circuit is added to the blue ribbon calendar, save for the Kymiring.