Paul Jordan could not have been happier with his first impressions of the ex-Tarran Mackenzie Kawasaki he will ride on his Isle of Man TT debut this year.
The Magherafelt lad has put the 2016 British Supersport title-winning ZX-6R through its paces at Kirkistown in Co Down and Jordan is now bristling with enthusiasm ahead of the opening Irish National road race of the season, with only two weeks to go until the Around-A-Pound Tandragee 100.
The 25-year-old, who finished joint third with Michael Sweeney in last year’s Irish Supersport Road Racing Championship, will again compete under the B&W Site Sealants banner in 2017.
“I’ve had my first runs on the bike at Kirkistown and I was blown away with it. I’m not too sure how it will perform on the roads yet because it’s been set-up for the circuits, but it’s some bike,” Jordan said.
“The initial grunt from the bike is superb and it turns so well too. It felt so easy to go fast on and it seemed so effortless, so I want to get the bike feeling the way my old Honda did – like it’s my bike – and go from there.”
Jordan will also ride a Kawasaki in the Supertwin class this year and will focus solely on both bikes as he builds his season around his Mountain Course bow in June.
“I did have the option of getting a bigger bike but I’m paying for it myself I can’t afford it, so there’s no point in doing something half-hearted,” he said.
“I try not and get my family involved because they committed so much when I was riding in BSB and even sold a house for me to go racing. It’s not fair on them so I try and take responsibility for it all myself, but they do help out and as long as they come and support me I’m happy.”
Jordan cut his teeth in the 125cc British Championship but he is now beginning to make a name for himself on the roads, producing some eye-catching performances in 2016.
He earned the man of the meeting award at the Cookstown 100, where he qualified on pole for the Supersport race. He won the 125cc race, finished fifth on his 600cc Honda and fourth in the Supertwin race at his home meeting at the Orritor course in Co Tyrone.
“Road racing is so much more relaxed than the British championship and if you get a good result, people respect you more,” he said.
“No-one’s out there to cut the nose off you or try and rub handlebars and everyone is out there for the right reasons.”
Looking ahead to the TT, Jordan says it was the right time in his career to commit to the event, where he will be joined by fellow newcomer Adam McLean from Tobermore.
“I’ve always wanted to do the TT but the time is just right now because I’m more mature,” he said.
“I’ve done the North West 200 and the Ulster Grand Prix, so this is the next step for me.
“It’s a long-term plan and I’ll be learning my way. I’ve got my own personal goals but I just want to be steady and learn as much as I can in my first year and then go from there.”