Magherafelt man Paul Jordan clinched a brilliant maiden international road racing victory after a frantic Supertwin race at the Ulster Grand Prix on Thursday.
Riding the Dafabet Devitt Kawasaki, Jordan – who finished fourth in the Lightweight race at the Isle of Man TT – narrowly prevailed by 0.092s in a pulsating encounter over Joe Loughlin on the ILR/Mark Coverdale Paton.
Yorkshireman Jamie Coward was just two tenths behind in third on the KTS Kawasaki in a fitting end to a terrific day’s racing around the famous 7.4-mile Dundrod course.
Lee Johnston was also in contention on the KMR/Ashcourt Racing Kawasaki until he was forced out on the third lap at the hairpin.
After setting the pace on the Italian Paton for the first two laps, Loughlin only held a slender lead of 0.14s over Jordan, with Christian Elkin beginning to close in on the leading trio before Johnston was cruelly forced out.
However, on the third lap of four, the tempo increased and Loughlin, Jordan and Coward began to edge ahead of Elkin as the race headed for a grandstand finish.
Ulsterman Jordan, who first rode for the Bristol-based Dafabet Devitt Racing team at last year’s Ulster Grand Prix, drafted past on the Flying Kilo on the final lap and although the lead changed hands over the final miles, the 28-year-old held on for a popular win.
It was a rewarding end to a difficult day for Jordan, who slid off unhurt during qualifying at Leathemstown and was an early retirement in the Superbike race.
Coward had the consolation of the fastest lap of the race at 119.480mph as he secured third ahead of Elkin.
Veteran Ian Lougher finished a long way behind in fifth on the ILR/Mark Coverdale Paton with the Welshman getting the better of a four-way dice with Xavier Denis, Jonathan Perry and newcomer James Chawke.
Ballymena’s Neil Kernohan and leading female racer Maria Costello completed the top ten.