EBC-sponsored rider Jordan Gill of the Phoenix Commercial Fleet Services Race Team took on the British Superbikes Knockhill Race Circuit earlier this month. Here’s the team’s race report:
It was a great weekend in Scotland at the Knockhill Circuit; it’s such a lovely place and the weather was fantastic. We attended the race with no great expectations, we just wanted to gain experience from the best. Jordan Gill is only 17; it’s his third time ever on a 600cc bike and only the second time this year. He is really enjoying riding our machine.
Free Practice 1 didn’t go as planned: an unfortunate slide put an early end to this very important session. Jordan was very concerned with his mistake but if you’re not pushing then you’re not learning. He isn’t the first to succumb to a bit of pressure and he won’t be the last.
Free Practice 2 was a lot better for him. He completed the 30 minutes gaining a better time lap after lap. Qualifying was a step into the fire pit but as we say, “the Phoenix rises from the flames” and so did Jordan. He achieved a very impressive 51.7 second lap, qualifying in front of six seasoned riders on a bike that he has only ridden twice this year. Those in the sport will understand just how impressive this was, and he definitely deserved a hug in the awning from Dave and Paddy afterwards.
Race 1 was a tough cookie and Jordan’s first ever grid start. With such a huge crowd and a wealth of British talent to try and run with, to say he was a bit nervous would be an understatement. He ran well in the race and made the odd mistake, however there were no major mistakes and he managed to set a constant pace, finishing far from last.
The morning warm up was a good test as we intended to try a new suspension set up. We felt that the bike was still handling a bit loose and we decided to try the gearing differently. This would have been a major decision that helped the outcome of the race. Unfortunately, the chain decided to snap a link on the first lap and end our session. This was a first in the team’s career leaving us gutted!
Race 2 was ridden on a gearing we found to be too busy, but the suspension adjustments were spot on and the bike handled very well. Jordan brought the bike home through 26 laps. This was the longest race of his career, on a bike on steroids, and at a circuit where he has not ridden for a long time.
As a team, it has been an honour to work with this young lad. It was great to see him achieve such good results, especially since he has spent so little time at this level of racing. Jordan has had limited experience on a 4-cylinder machine over the past couple of years. As they say, things can only get better!
He has stated that “having completed these 2 races, I feel I have gained some valuable experience from the best 600 riders in the country. With more time on the Phoenix CFS Race Team bike, I’ll be knocking on their doors in no time.”
Jordan has done brilliantly, and we are really looking forward to the next Thundersport GB round at Brands Hatch.
Photos courtesy of Robert Baxter.