The Dafabet Devitt Racing pairing of Paul Jordan and Dominic Herbertson both took excellent results at Saturday’s Ulster Grand Prix with both riders claiming two top eight finishes, the best of which was Jordan’s excellent fourth place in the Superbike race.
Weather conditions played havoc with some of the schedule – and resulted in two of their races being cancelled – but both riders not only took the aforementioned results but also posted new personal best laps of the 7.4-mile circuit, Jordan’s lap of 131.148mph a superb effort and the undoubted highlight.
With Thursday evening’s Superbike race being cancelled due to fading light, it was Saturday’s six-lap Superstock race that saw Paul and Dominic first in action and both riders ran inside the top ten throughout the race.
Seventh at the end of lap one, Northern Ireland’s Jordan set a new personal best lap of 131.148mph – his first ever 130mph+ lap of the 7.4-mile circuit – on lap two and two laps later he moved up to sixth as he overhauled the factory Tyco BMW of David Johnson. The race was stopped shortly afterwards though and so Paul took a deserved sixth whilst Dominic, who himself lapped at 128.800mph, finished in a fine eighth place.
The feature seven-lap Superbike race was then next for the two riders but it was only a lap and a bit old when it was stopped after Davey Todd crashed at Deer’s Leap. It was restarted after a short delay with Paul completing the first lap in sixth place and Hexham’s Herbertson in tenth. Lap two saw some rain began to fall on the top part of the circuit but Paul was excelling once more on the Kawasaki ZX-10R and moved up to fourth with Herbertson also improving two places.
As the riders went into lap three, the weather conditions unfortunately worsened and the red flag came out to bring the race to a premature end. The result was eventually declared at the end of the second lap with Paul being awarded a superb fourth and Dominic a fine eighth.
Not long after, the rain got heavier and the mist thicker leaving race organisers with little option other than to cancel the remaining three races, one of which would have seen both riders back out on track for the second Superbike race.
Paul Jordan: “It’s been a really successful meeting for me and to lap in excess of 131mph and get a fourth place finish in a Superbike race is brilliant! My personal goal this week was to break the 130mph barrier and although I had to adapt to the bike, I was able to do that very quickly thanks to the team. We gelled straightaway so when I was out on track, I was able to do my own thing and just concentrate on putting the laps in. I was pleased with sixth and even more pleased with fourth where I felt I had a bit of advantage with the treaded tyres. I’ve really enjoyed riding the ZX-10R and the team have been brilliant so it’s been a great meeting.”
Dominic Herbertson: “I was extremely grateful to be given the opportunity for the Ulster Grand Prix and hopefully I’ve done the team proud with my results. It’s obviously been a shame the weather resulted in two of our races being cancelled but I’ve got to be pleased with seventh and eighth place finishes and I was delighted to set my personal best lap. We had no testing prior to arriving here and the Kawasaki ZX-10R is very different to the BMW I normally ride but I got more and more comfortable with each and every lap and I learnt a lot. The bike handled perfectly and the team did an outstanding job so it’s been a great experience for me.”
Ben Constable, Team Co-owner: “Neither of the boys had done any testing on the bikes due to the time constraints we had and the first time they sat on the bike was when they headed down the Flying Kilo on their first practice lap! They were on the pace straightaway though and improved in each session, going on to set personal best laps in the race which shows how well they were riding and how well the Kawasaki ZX-10R was working. It’s unfortunate that the weather meant half of our races got cancelled but in the ones we had, both riders took two top eight finishes and that’s a great effort from them and everyone connected with the team.”
Pictures by Stephen Davison – Pacemaker Press International