Paul Jordan’s future with Isle of Man-based Team IMR Racing is uncertain after English rider Joe Collier was confirmed as his replacement for this weekend’s British championship meeting at Oulton Park.
Magherafelt man Jordan was initially due to ride the Evolution Camping-backed BMW Superstock machine at the Cheshire circuit in the National Superstock 1000 race, but Leicestershire’s Collier – who won this year’s Ducati Tri-Options Cup series – has instead been handed the chance.
Team owner Ian Moffitt is keen to branch into the British championship in 2018, but the News Letter understands that Jordan would rather pursue his career primarily on the roads.
The 26-year-old made his Isle of Man TT debut in June, when a crash during practice left him on the back foot.
He began the year riding under the B&W Site Sealants banner for Brian Hull on Kawasaki Supersport and Supertwin machinery, but Jordan split from the team after the Skerries 100 in July.
He was then supplied with the ex-Tarran Mackenzie McAMS Yamaha R6, purchased by IMR Racing’s Moffitt, in addition to the BMW S1000RR Superstock machine on which he made his debut earlier in the season at the Cookstown 100.
Now riding solely for IMR Racing, Jordan secured his maiden podium at Walderstown in the Supersport race on the top-spec Yamaha before chalking up his first victory at the Faugheen 50 meeting, beating established frontrunners Derek Sheils and Michael Sweeney.
He also impressed at the Ulster Grand Prix last month in the Supersport class, finishing 11th in race one before improving to fifth in the second race, lapping at 125.804mph.
Last Sunday, he twice finished on the podium in third place at the East Coast Racing Festival at Killalane in the Supersport class.
Whether or not that was Jordan’s final race for the Manx-based team remains to be seen, but a continuation of their association into next season now seems unlikely.
Team boss Moffitt said: “We dipped our toe in the water this season at the international road races and while we will add those races to our calendar for 2018, the British championship paddock is also where we want to be next season.
“It’s undoubtedly the best national championship world-wide and a great place for us to test ourselves, and in turn, promote our core business and associate sponsors. We are all looking forward to it."
Looking ahead to the team's Superstock 1000 debut this weekend, Moffitt added: "We are obviously delighted to be making our debut in the British championship paddock this coming weekend and on Steve Plater’s recommendation, I’m pleased to have Joe onboard the Evolution Camping-backed IMR BMW S1000RR.
“It’s new territory for both of us I suppose, but with 11 wins this season on the Ducati and a similar number back in 2015 in the Supersport Evo class, the lad obviously has a lot of talent, and more importantly, experience of British championship circuits, which is just what we need as a new team."