Paul Jordan eager to show his quality with Ulster Grand Prix joy
Just over a year ago, 28-year-old Paul Jordan from Magherafelt received the news that he was to step into the Bristol-based Dafabet Devitt RC Express Kawasaki team for the Ulster Grand Prix.
He would be deputising for Ivan Lintin, who was badly injured in a crash during the Southern 100 which claimed the life of McAdoo Kawasaki runner James Cowton.
It's certainly not the way that anybody wants to get a ride with a team, but when the opportunity arose, Jordan grasped it.
He reflected: "I had a fourth-placed finish in the reduced distance UGP Superbike race behind Peter Hickman, Lee Johnston and David Johnson - a result that gave me a lot of satisfaction.
"I also finished sixth in the Superstock and second Supersport races, again behind some top names. Dean Harrison and Hickman won the two races and I had a lap at over the 130mph mark in Superstock."
These results, and a 14th position on his first Macau Grand Prix visit, were enough to persuade the Ben and Roy Constable-owned team to sign the Magherafelt rider for the major international road races in 2019.
After an outing at Oulton Park to familiarise himself with the machines, Jordan finished 10th in the Bayview Hotel Superstock race at the North West 200.
He had also been giving a good account of himself in the opening Supersport race on a Yamaha borrowed from Neil Kernohan and Logan Racing, lying in a comfortable fourth, until he was forced to retire after four laps with a machine issue having set the second fastest lap.
In the difficult Saturday conditions, Jordan finished fourth in the Supersport race and retired from the later Superstock race.
A tremendous fourth in the Lightweight TT behind Michael Dunlop, Coward and Lee Johnston crowned an excellent TT for Jordan having had three top-15 finishes on his first 'big bike' rides on the Mountain Circuit.
He also finished third in the Post TT Classic Superbike race on a 750cc Kawasaki at Billown.
He finished third in Supersport at the Cookstown 100, won the class at Kells, finished second in the Grand Final, fourth in the open race on his 600cc Yamaha and ended with a late charge in the opening Supersport race at Armoy to finish just 0.022 seconds behind Derek McGee.
The pair collided after the chequered flag, which put Jordan out of the rest of the meeting after he aggravated a hand injury sustained in a massive high side at a short circuit meeting in Anglesey a few weeks prior.
On his UGP chances this week, Jordan said: "I have to think I can win, especially in the Supertwin races after my TT performance. I believe I can give another good account of myself in the Supersport after the NW200.
"I have a full complement of Dafabet Devitt Kawasakis, and with seats up for grabs in 2020, this is the ideal meeting to put myself in the shop window."
Meanwhile, Chimney Corner Hotel will sponsor Saturday's Lightweight race at the fonaCAB Ulster Grand Prix and Randalstown-based MMB Surfacing (McManus Brothers) will back the seven-lap Superbike race.
Roads close this morning from 10am for opening practice.