Magherafelt’s Paul Jordan believes he has everything at his disposal to take his career to the next level after signing for the Dafabet Devitt Racing team to contest the 2019 international road races.
The 26-year-old will be the team’s sole rider this season, when Jordan will ride Kawasaki machinery across the board in the Superbike, Superstock, Supersport and Supertwin classes.
After winning the Friday evening Supersport race at Armoy on his own Yamaha R6, Jordan and English rider Dominic Herbertson were granted the opportunity to join Ben and Tom Constable’s Bristol-based Dafabet Devitt Kawasaki team at the Ulster Grand Prix last August.
The chance arose when Lincolnshire’s Ivan Lintin was ruled out through injury following a serious accident at the Southern 100, which sadly claimed the life of Yorkshire rider James Cowton.
In difficult conditions at Dundrod, Jordan rose to the occasion on his debut for the team, finishing fourth in the weather-hit Superbike race and sealing two top-six results in the Superstock and Supersport events.
He also rode for the team at the Macau Grand Prix in November, finishing 14th on his maiden appearance behind Skerries man Michael Sweeney.
With a proven team behind him, Jordan feels he can raise his game in 2019 and fulfil his potential at the major international meetings.
In an exclusive interview with the News Letter, Jordan revealed he will also contest selected rounds of the National Superstock 1000 Championship this year to complement his road racing programme.
“I’m delighted to be joining the team full-time this year and Roy and Ben have made it clear that there’s no pressure on me at all and they want me to go out there and enjoy myself,” Jordan said.
“They have made me feel like I’ve been a part of the team for years and we had a bond straight away. It does feel like a family set-up and with it being a one-rider team, it means that all the focus is on me and there won’t be two riders suggesting different changes for the bike.
“I seemed to gel quite quickly with the Kawasaki ZX-10 and I felt like I could ride the bike more and let it get a bit loose underneath me. From the word go I felt good with the bike and we were on the pace straight away at the Ulster Grand Prix,” he added.
“I think with my riding style we’ll click with the Kawasaki Supertwin right away and I’d like to think that we won’t be far away. But I really feel I need to step up on the big bike and improve my riding. That’s the main class and it’s the race that everyone is there to see.
“If I can get anywhere near the podium this year at the internationals I’ll be more than happy but I just want to keep progressing and improving my times.”
Jordan - who is set to make his debut at the Southern 100 in the summer – will take part in the annual Pro Test at Cartagena in Spain at the beginning of March as part of his pre-season preparations prior to the official British Superbike test at Silverstone, which hosts the opening BSB round from April 19-21.
“We’re heading to Spain at the start of March for three days testing at Cartagena and then hopefully we’ll do a few track days before the first British Superbike test at Silverstone,” he said.
“We have pencilled in the first two rounds of the British Superstock 1000 Championship and I’ll do the Cookstown 100 before the North West 200. Unfortunately I’ll miss Tandragee because it clashes with the second round of the British championship.
“It’s definitely going to benefit us by doing those first few rounds of the British championship because it means we won’t be on the back foot so much compared to many of the other riders when the international road racing seasons swings around. It gives you plenty more miles under your belt and really helps sharpen you up, so I can’t wait to get going now.”
Team owner Roy Constable said he was delighted to continue with Jordan in 2019 after confirming Dafabet and Devitt Insurance as the team’s title sponsors once more.
“We’re delighted to extend our partnership with both Dafabet and Devitt Insurance and with them both being such an integral part of the team we’re looking to continue our success of previous years in 2019.
“We’re equally delighted to welcome Paul to the team on a full-time basis after he impressed us all in his short time with us last year. He improved tremendously in the two outings he had with us and we’re excited to be working with such a talented rider in the season ahead.
“It continues our ethos of working with young, promising riders and we’ll be looking to nurture his talent, build on what we achieved last year and have a successful and enjoyable year of racing.”