Paul Jordan and Mike Browne satisfied with Mondello rostrum haul
Northern Ireland’s Burrows Engineering/RK Racing team returned to the Irish short circuit scene for the first time in many years to contest the opening round of the Dunlop Masters Championship at Mondello Park at the weekend.
With most Irish road races in 2021 cancelled once again due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the Dungannon-based team is taking advantage of alternative opportunities to afford riders Paul Jordan and Mike Browne the chance to gain some track time after a barren 2020, when the team’s sole outing was at the Cookstown 100 in Co Tyrone.
Concentrating on the Supersport class on their Yamaha YZF-R6 machines, both Jordan and Browne excelled at the Co Kildare circuit, collecting three podium finishes between them from the three races across the weekend.
Magherafelt man Jordan was impressively up to speed quickly despite a 15-year absence from racing at Mondello, where he last rode as a teenager in the 125cc class.
The 30-year-old finished on the rostrum in third place in Saturday’s opening race, narrowly holding off team-mate Browne on the dash to the line.
On Sunday, a big high-side ruled Jordan out of race two and he was unfortunately forced to retire in the third and final race of the weekend.
Cork man Browne had a solid weekend with three strong finishes, taking fourth in Saturday’s opener before finishing third in race two and ending the weekend with a fine runner-up finish in race three.
The team is now planning a test day at Kirkistown in Co Down in preparation for the Armoy Road Races from July 30-31.
Team principal John Burrows said: “Paul didn’t have a lot of experience of Mondello, but straightaway he was on the money. He has a short circuit background and was quickly up to speed.
“Mike was also running at the sharp end from Friday’s test right through until Sunday afternoon. Paul got a good third on the Saturday with Mike in fourth, and then Mike had two podiums on Sunday with a third and second.
“Unfortunately, Paul slipped off in Sunday’s first race and although we got the bike repaired and he got back out again, he didn’t get a finish.
“I can’t fault the performance of the two boys and Mike had a tip-off on Friday as well, but when you’re pushing on to be at the sharp end, then crashes can happen.
“But in all for the team, it was nice to come home with three rostrums from our first short circuit race for a very long time.”
Jordan said he was satisfied overall with his pace at Mondello given his inexperience of the circuit.
“It was 15 years since I last raced at Mondello park as a teenager, but I surprised myself considering how long it has been since I was last there,” he said.
“I had a good ride in the first race and finished on the podium in third, but then in race two I had a huge high-side. I felt I needed to attack on the first laps to get away at the front and it bit me, so I feel like I’ve done a couple of rounds with Carl Frampton! Thankfully I don’t think anything is broken.
“Apart from my crash I had a good weekend and John and the boys worked tremendously hard just to make sure I was out on track on Sunday again, but there was just a little niggle with the bike as a result of the crash, which meant I had to pull out.”
Cork man Browne said a spill during Friday’s test day knocked his confidence and he rode within himself over the weekend to avoid any more crahes
“I went with good expectations because the last time I raced there I had three wins, so I had high hopes,” he said.
“But on Friday I had a crash and it dented my confidence. After that, I decided there had been enough crash damage done for one weekend and I kind of played it safe, opted for some steady results and brought it home.
“I was happy enough with the podiums but there was definitely more in me, although I didn’t want to risk any more crashes.
“The competition was stiffer this weekend compared to the last race in September but my times were good enough and I was satisfied from that side.
“A big thanks to the team because I never missed a single session after they worked so hard to make sure the bike was repaired and ready to go.”
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