Finishing tied tenth in Road Racing News top ten riders of the 2019 roads season are, Ulster GP Super Twins race winner Paul Jordan and eight times Armoy ‘Race of Legends’ winner Michael Dunlop.
Magherafelt’s Jordan, 19 times TT winner Dunlop whilst encountering at times challenges a plenty throughout the 2019 season, have both showcased their proven qualities with an array of accomplished performances.
Dafabet Devitt Racing’s Jordan has no question raised his stature at International roads events, joining as aforementioned the Ulster GP race winners circle plus securing top five finishes at the North West 200 and TT Races.
Proven on two stroke, Super Twins machinery, he’s also a potent exponent of Supersport 600’s, illustrated by rostrum finishes this year at Cookstown and Armoy plus class success at the returning Kells meeting.
18th in last month’s Suncity Group Macau Grand Prix, it’s been overall a very productive season for rising next gen roads talent Jordan.
Fellow countryman, Supersport TT lap record holder Michael Dunlop like Jordan has had to overcome niggling injuries to accomplish more tumultuous, history making feats.
Down on track time, allied to not been fully fit going into the 2019 season, following a wrist injury sustained during testing action at Kirkistown, Dunlop had to show all of his notorious ultra determination to contend for high level results at the showpiece International roads events.
Banking one podium finish at the North West 200 from the opening Superstock race, TT 2019 saw top six finishes secured across all races contested. Additionally he consolidated his third place on the all time TT winners list, by retaining the Bennetts Lightweight crown following a truly world class display aboard the SC Project Paton.
Following TT 2019, his next roads outing was back on Manx shores at the Southern 100. The lead challenger throughout to Senior TT Champ Dean Harrison, his latest Billown course stint ultimately ended in unfortunate fashion, following a heavy high side incident during the Senior class race.
In spite of receiving from the incident at Billown, a broken pelvis, multiple fractures, he incredibly with the Tyco BMW squad went onto win an eighth ‘Race of Legends’ title at Armoy, proving again that the impossible is possible.
On course for RST Superbike Classic TT success prior to technical gremlins, Dunlop’s performances at Armoy, the Classic TT show that the hunger is still there for more victories, lap records, groundbreaking feats, even when racing at not optimum race fitness.
Will 2020 see him add to his impeccable International Road Race victories resume? Time will tell but one things for sure, you can never ever discount the Ballymoney racer from enjoying more success at the ‘Big Three’ roads events, the North West 200, TT and Ulster Grand Prix (fingers crossed it runs in 2020).
Words by Stevie Rial