Maiden Isle of Man TT podium is dream come true for speechless Paul Jordan

From a terrifying collision with a bird during practice to earning his maiden Isle of Man TT podium, the past fortnight has been a roller-coaster of emotions for Magherafelt man Paul Jordan.

By Kyle White
Wednesday, 15th June 2022, 11:40 am
Updated Wednesday, 15th June 2022, 11:43 am

The Ulster rider, who turned 31 last Tuesday, celebrated his birthday in style with a magnificent third place in the Bennetts Supertwin race on his 650cc PreZ Racing Kawasaki.

Still present on the island yesterday ahead of an evening sailing back to Belfast, Jordan said the achievement had yet to fully hit home.

He recalled his excitement on the final lap as he chased Frenchman Pierre Yves Bian for the final rostrum spot, eventually overhauling the Paton rider to join race winner Peter Hickman and close friend and fellow countryman Lee Johnston in the winners’ enclosure.

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Paul Jordan claimed his maiden podium at the Isle of Man TT in the Bennetts Supertwin race.

It is a moment Jordan still cannot grasp almost a week after the three-lap race around the 37.73-mile Mountain Course.

“It hasn’t even hit me yet,” said Jordan, who is still nursing a hand injury following a crash at the Cookstown 100 in April.

“To be up on the podium with Peter Hickman and obviously with Lee was something special. I didn’t even realise that I was in third place until I turned up towards the return road.

“I only had two boards, one at Ballacraine, and I saw that I was in sixth. Then I saw Michael (Dunlop) go out, so I obviously knew then that I was up to fifth.

Paul Jordan (right) with Bennetts Supertwin TT winner Peter Hickman and runner-up Lee Johnston (left).

“That’s when I started to think that I might have a shot. I just put my head down and kept going,” he added.

“My brother Gary was doing a board at the Creg and the whole of Northern Ireland must have been there, because they were going completely mental!

“I couldn’t even see the board there but I was screaming the whole way from the Creg to the finish to try and make sure I made the most of the situation.”

With the finishing line almost in sight, Jordan narrowly avoided disaster after a big moment at Governor’s Dip.

Magherafelt man Paul Jordan at Ginger Hall on the PreZ Racing Kawasaki in the Bennetts Supertwin TT.

“I lost the front,” he said.

“I was just flicking direction from left to right on the way in and I completely lost the front when I was still on the brakes.

“I just managed to stay on somehow and when I was coming up the return road, I was looking at people and they were screaming and shouting, but at this stage I still didn’t really know where I’d finished.

“Then when I got up the return road, Paul Phillips (TT Business Development Manager) was pointing at me to go into the winners’ enclosure and I just went mad.

“The TT is the pinnacle of motorsport for me and my cousin was sending me videos from Australia showing me in the highlights two days afterwards, and that’s on the other side of the world.

“Never in my wildest dreams did I think I’d be standing on a podium at the Isle of Man TT. Obviously, that’s the mission, it’s the dream, and now that I’ve done it I want more of it.”

Jordan also delivered a first TT podium for his Isle of Man-based PreZ Racing team a few weeks after he sealed a top-three finish in the Supertwin class at the North West 200. He has now completed a full set of podiums at the major road races following his Supertwin victory at the Ulster Grand Prix in 2019.

“It’s great for the team, for John and Zandra Preston, because that’s their first podium at the TT and we also managed it at the North West 200, and that’s a top-three at both internationals this year,” Jordan said.

“With the Patons in the race I didn’t really think I had a chance of the rostrum but at the TT, you’ve got to get to the finish.

“It’s been a good year so far but now that I’ve experienced going into that winners’ enclosure, it’s a memory that will stay with me forever and now I want more.

“I can’t believe it has actually happened to me – I’m only a roofer from Magherafelt!”

It was a huge turnaround for Jordan, who is lost for words to explain how he averted catastrophe after colliding with a bird in top gear on his Supertwin machine during the solo warm-up lap prior to the RST Superbike race.

“I don’t know how I stayed on – not a clue,” said Jordan, who was left with two black eyes and a swollen face after the nerve-shredding incident.

“One thing this year is that Sulby straight was so bumpy that I was holding on tighter than in previous years, so that played a part in it I think.

“I just stopped before Sulby bridge because my mouth was full of bits of bird and feathers – blood, guts and everything else.

“I got back to the Grandstand about 15 minutes before the start of the first Superbike race and did a quick medical and got passed fit to race.”

His efforts were ultimately in vain, with Jordan forced to retire on the fifth lap on the PreZ Racing Yamaha R1.

He also had to withdraw from the Senior TT on Saturday after feeling unwell, but Jordan finished ninth in the first Supersport race despite being hit with a 30-second penalty for speeding in pitlane. He completed the second encounter in 11th and finished 15th in the Superstock race.

“It’s obviously been good, but then there were so many lows this year,” Jordan said.

“Obviously Davy Morgan was from Northern Ireland and I still can’t believe that he’s gone.

“I woke up this morning and saw his awning still there, and it’s scary to think that he’s gone. It’s awful and my thoughts are with all the families and friends,” he added.

“I’ve a bit of a break now and then we’ll hopefully do the Skerries 100 before coming back to the Isle of Man for the Southern 100, so that will give me some time to try and get my hand healed a bit more.”