By Kyle White Belfast Newsletter.
Paul Jordan has signed for the RAF Regular & Reserve team to ride Kawasaki machinery at the international road races this year.
Magherafelt man Jordan will contest the North West 200, Isle of Man TT and Macau Grand Prix for Lee Hardy’s team in the Superbike and Superstock classes and will also ride a Yamaha YZF-R6 in the Supersport races.
Jordan, who will ride for John Burrows’ team at the Irish national events this year, is set to compete in selected rounds of the Pirelli National Superstock 1000 Championship as preparation for the start of the major road racing season, which blasts off with the North West 200 in May.
The 28-year-old said: “I’m over the moon to have signed for the RAF Regular & Reserve Kawasaki team and although last season had a few ups and downs, there were also plenty of positives and that’s what I’m aiming to build upon.
“Having parted ways with my pervious team at the end of last year, I was a bit apprehensive about the season ahead but when Lee put the offer on the table, it was an easy decision to make. I like what the team has done in BSB with Jake Dixon and Ryan Vickers and the ethos of the team in nurturing young riders appealed to me greatly.
“They both progressed greatly after joining the team which is obviously what I’m hoping will apply to me as well and although I need to believe in myself a little bit more, with the team’s support and the bikes they’ll be supplying me, I’m confident that will be the case – the standard of the team is second to none,” added Jordan.
“Last year’s NW200 and TT went well in their own right but I was also a bit frustrated as I didn’t feel like I did myself justice, particularly at the TT, so I know there’s plenty more to come and with the Kawasaki and Yamaha at my disposal I’ll be aiming high in 2020.”
News of the deal is the final piece of the jigsaw for Jordan’s plans this year after it was announced on Friday that he will ride a Paton in the Lightweight race at the TT for Italian team VAS Engine Racing.
The Ulsterman is one of the sport’s leading up and coming talents and Jordan reached a milestone last year when he sealed victory in the Supertwin race at the Ulster Grand Prix – his first big international success.
He also showed his potential at the TT with an excellent ride to fourth in the Lightweight race, setting the fourth fastest lap ever in the class at 121.248mph.
Team owner Hardy revealed there is an option for Jordan to sign for a further two years at the end of this season.
“I am really excited to have signed Paul Jordan for the roads this year,” he said.
“Up till now we have had proven riders on the roads side of the team and I feel it’s time to change the ethos to what we do well as a team elsewhere and that is to help develop a younger rider. Paul has been on the international road scene now for a few years so he is at that point where he knows where he is going but there will still be areas where he can improve massively within himself. I never put any pressure on a rider and I will deliver Paul a competitive bike within all classes,” Hardy added.
“Our team goal this year will be to deliver the best bike and package possible and as long as he is happy within the team and comfortable with his bike he will deliver.
“If this season goes well for both of us I would like to make it an extra two year deal for Paul and offer him some continuity and security for his future on the roads.
“We have built Paul a new Kawasaki ZX10 RR Superstock bike for the roads which he will also be using within the Superbike races as well, this is something he requested and I was happy to oblige his request.”