Magherafelt man Paul Jordan is in a much stronger position ahead of the 2019 road racing season than he found himself in 12 months ago.
The 27-year-old was uncertain over whether or not he would even be on the grid last year after he found himself without a ride.
Jordan sold his car to help towards the cost of running his own 2015 Yamaha R6 and after a tough start to the year, he returned to the Isle of Man TT for the second time following his debut at the event in 2017.
He finished 22nd and 19th in the two Supersport races and improved his personal best lap speed from 115.991mph to 123.355mph.
However, it was during the second part of the year when Jordan really began to shine.
He won a thrilling Supersport race at Armoy after slipstreaming past Adam McLean on the run to the line.
Jordan was then offered the chance to ride for the Dafabet Devitt Racing team at the Ulster Grand Prix and he made it count, finishing sixth in the Superstock race and fourth in the rain-hit Superbike event at Dundrod. He also lapped at over 131mph and was rewarded with another outing with the team at the Macau Grand Prix, where he made his debut in November.
Jordan finished in a solid 14th place on the Kawasaki ZX-10R in the Far East and now the Ulster rider is determined to carry his momentum into 2019.
He has a deal finalised, although his plans are yet to be officially announced.
“It’s nice to have things done and dusted so early and for once I have nothing to worry about,” Jordan told the News Letter.
“It’s a done deal for 2019 and the official announcement should be made before too much longer once a few other things are tied up.
“It means I can relax now and focus on myself. I’ve been riding motocross as much as I can and I’m also in the gym.
“My plan this year is to be as active as possible. I really want to go back to the British championship and maybe do the Superstock 1000 class because it gives you that bit of sharpness you need for the North West 200 and Isle of Man TT.”
Reflecting on his turnaround in fortunes last year, Jordan said 2018 eventually developed into one of his best seasons to date.
“My whole season just turned around last year after we started off with only one bike and no budget. At one point it looked as if I might not even be able to go racing but then our luck changed and it actually turned out to be probably my best season,” he said.
“After winning the Supersport race at Armoy the chance came up to ride the Dafabet Devitt Kawasaki for RC Express Racing at the Ulster Grand Prix. We had a good run there and then I made my debut at the Classic TT, where I really surprised myself to be honest.
“We were strong in practice and never really dropped any lower than fourth fastest, and then I was in with a shout of the podium in the Superbike race until we had a problem with the bike, which ruled us out. It was a good run and I’m looking forward to going back there again this year.
“We also did a solid job at Macau and I initially thought that I would go and race there as a one-off, but I just absolutely loved the whole event. It was probably one of the best organised races that I’ve ever been to.
“This year I just want to keep making progress and building on the results we had in the second part of last season. The TT is the priority for me this year and I’m still on a big learning curve there, so it’s all about getting more experience under your belt.”
Jordan has set up a new supporters club, which can be accessed via his Facebook page, Paul Jordan Racing.
He said: “I’ve set up a supporters club and I’ve been really overwhelmed by the response so far, so thanks to everyone that has signed up.”