Northern Ireland’s Paul Jordan says he will treat the notorious Snaefell Mountain Course with the utmost respect as he prepares to make his Isle of Man TT debut in June.
The 25-year-old has been climbing the National road racing rankings in recent seasons after beginning his career on the short circuits, competing in the 125cc British Championship in 2008 and 2009, when he finished third and fifth respectively.
Jordan has always harboured an ambition to compete at the TT but the level-headed Magherafelt man has bided his time, opting to ply his trade between the hedges at the Irish road races before making a commitment to compete in the most challenging road race in the world.
He travelled to the Isle of Man prior to Christmas and Jordan is set to be a regular visitor to the island between now and the summer, when he plans to make the trip twice a month as he familiarises himself with the 37.73-mile course prior to his TT bow in six months’ time.
“The whole place needs treated with respect. You can really see where the speed comes from, as the surface and road conditions are superb,” Jordan said.
“I know Josh Brookes did about 150 laps prior to his debut year, and look how talented he is.
“But that’s what it takes and although I’m not making any lap speed predictions public, I know what I’d like to achieve and the goal overall is to finish as top newcomer in 2017.”
Jordan, who earned the man of the meeting award at the Cookstown 100 in 2016 after a series of solid results at his home event, finished third overall in the Irish Supersport Road Racing Championship last season.
He also enhanced his reputation with an excellent ride to fourth place in the Supertwins race at the Ulster Grand Prix, setting the fastest lap.
“I could have done [the TT] in 2010 or 2011, and like every young fella I thought, ‘I really want to have a go at that’,” Jordan added.
“But I was just too young at 19 to be taking on that sort of challenge, so after a year out of racing I came back and adapted to the road racing scene first.”
Jordan will ride a Honda Supersport machine once again for the B&W Site Sealants Racing Team at the TT plus a Kawasaki Supertwin.