IMPRESSIVE DEBUTS FOR BURROWS ENGINEERING/RK RACING’S PAUL JORDAN AND MIKE BROWNE
New signings Paul Jordan and Mike Browne impressed at Saturday’s KDM Hire Cookstown 100 as they made their belated road racing debuts for the Burrows Engineering/RK Racing team.
The County Tyrone race, postponed from April, is the only Irish road race to go ahead this year after the coronavirus pandemic decimated the 2020 calendar.
Magherafelt man Jordan clinched a rostrum finish in the Supersport race on the team’s Yamaha R6 after qualifying on the front row in second position, but Jordan was left to rue an encounter with slower riders in the closing stages of the race, which he felt ultimately cost him the chance of the runner-up spot. The 29-year-old later finished seventh in the Open Superbike race on the Suzuki GSX-R1000, when a mistake on the brakes early in the race left Jordan on the back foot. The race was re-started twice following two separate non-serious accidents before being run over a shorter distance of five laps.
Cork man Browne focused solely on the Yamaha R6 at the 2.1-mile Orritor course after only riding a 1000cc machine for the first time during a team test at Kirkistown in County Down. The 30-year-old qualified fifth quickest and improved one place in the race, crossing the line in fourth. Browne later took a credible sixth place on the 600 Yamaha in the Open Superbike race.
The main event on the programme, the Cookstown 100 Superbike race, was cancelled due to wet weather and deteriorating conditions.
Team principal – John Burrows:
“Paul was holding a good third in the Open Superbike race until he couldn’t get stopped and the brakes and he ran on at Mackney’s corner. He was disappointed about that because he dropped back into the second group and with it only being a five-lap race, he could only get himself back up to seventh place by the finish. In the Supersport race, Paul came upon some slower riders and he was cautious when he overtook them, which gave Darryl Tweed an opportunity to make a pass. Paul finished third and it was nice for the team to have a podium at the event.
“Mike had a good, solid weekend and I told him before we came to the race that he had nothing to prove and whatever his results were, it wouldn’t affect the plan I have for him next season. We decided that Mike would just focus on the 600 Yamaha for his first race with us at Cookstown, given his inexperience with the big bike. He’s a talented rider and I’ve no doubt Mike will soon be knocking on the door for wins in the Supersport class.
“Paul’s best lap in the Supersport race was only 0.3s off the fastest lap of the race, while Mike was only half-a-second off the best time, so it shows how competitive the Yamaha R6 is as a package.
“Overall I’m happy that we came away knowing we were competitive in both classes. There are a few more areas where we can improve but we’re going into the winter with a good base setting and we should be able to hit the ground running next season. Congratulations to the Cookstown Club for running a successful meeting.”
“There are positives to take away from the weekend but I felt I should have had a second place in the Supersport race. We came up behind some slower riders and I was just too cautious going past them. I showed a bit too much respect and it left the door open for Darryl Tweed to get through. Until then, I did feel as though I could have had a shot at getting past Adam McLean. I’m not saying I’d have beaten him, but I would’ve had a go. There were some places where I felt a bit stronger than Adam and I was lining up a move, but I never got the chance to try it.
“I was over the moon with the big bike in qualifying on Friday and I felt I could have a good shot in the race. But on Saturday I was just diabolical in the first start and I got caught in behind Thomas Maxwell. When the race was re-started the second time, I made a decent start and was in third place behind Derek Sheils and Michael Sweeney, but then I overshot going into Mackney’s and that was it over basically.
“Considering the lack of track time we had coming into the event the lap times were good and as a team we all worked well together. We’ve got some good information about the bikes and that will obviously benefit us when we come back again next year.”
“I enjoyed myself at Cookstown and although we didn’t exactly blow anyone away with our results, I think we can progress from there and get faster, so it was an okay start. I had a fourth on the 600 Yamaha in the Supersport race and we took the decision on the Wednesday before the event to concentrate on the 600.
“We made good progress with the bike from the first session on the Friday to the last session and I was delighted with the bike heading into the race. It was a good opportunity to see how the team works in a race situation and to be honest, everything felt normal even though I hadn’t done a road race since Killalane a year ago. It didn’t feel like we had been away that long and once I got going I felt at home again.
“We might have a chance to race at Mondello Park before the year is out and I’d jump at the chance if we decide to go there. I just want to say thanks to everyone at the Cookstown club for putting the event together and also to the team as well. Hopefully if everything returns to normal we will be able to hit the ground running next year.”
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