Teen sensation Jordan is a real wonder wheels
Talented youngster is blazing a trail on bike track
West Lothian boasts more than its fair share of motorsport aces – and it might be time to add another name to the list.
Dario Franchitti is a four- time IndyCar champ and has been inducted into the Auto Racing Hall of Fame, while his brother Marino has enjoyed a decent career in the sport.
Paul di Resta, a cousin of Dario and Marino, spent three years in Formula One and has a DTM title to his name.
Now 16-year-old Jordan Gill, from Broxburn, could be the next name on the list.
The youngster is so talented, in fact, that he was given special dispensation to compete in the British Superbikes Ducati Tri-Options Cup, being younger than the minimum age barrier of 17.
And he’s proving more than a match for the rest of the field, rising from regular finishes in the 40s to challenging the top-10 come season’s end, as well as battling for top spot in the 899 class heading into this weekend’s races in Assen, Netherlands.
It’s only his third season on road bikes, having started out on motocross, and the youngster is already targeting the very top - but is keeping his feet on the ground.
He commented: “I’ve always loved bikes and riding. I actually started out doing motocross from the age of six and loved it but I’m now doing the British Superbikes and really enjoying the experience.
“I was competing in the KTM Cup last year but I really think the Ducati Tri-Options Cup is a step up and better suited for me.
“Before competing in the British Superbikes, I was competing in Scottish events and the difference is incredible.
“To be racing in front of crowds the size of 60,000 and up is really something that anyone who wants to compete in this sport is desperate to achieve.
“But then it’s an even bigger jump when you go up the ladder to the World Superbikes and then further up to the Moto GP events.
“That ’s where I want to be, challenging with the best and competing at the top races and against the best riders.
“I’m young and know there’s time on my side. I just want to improve and get better and then see where it takes me.
“Obviously I want to compete at the highest level, who wouldn’t? But I’m seven years younger than anyone else competing in the Tri-Options Cup just now so I know there’s no rush and it’s just about focusing on getting better with every race.
“That’s what it’s all about for me just now at this level.
“At the start of the year I was getting finishes in the forties but now I’m improving and getting much higher places and my best result is 11th overall.”
Despite his young age, he admits he’s sustained the odd knock in confidence - only to get back up and continue to succeed, something he says is vital when you’re racing round tight corners in the rain at 150mph.
He said: “I’m pretty good in the wet and I think that’s because of my motocross background, but it’s different on road bikes.
“I had a big knock in confidence at the KTM in the wet because of the tyres they use. Some riders got on with it and others didn’t and I really struggled.
“Then I came off at Donnington at the start of this year and came off at 150 miles per hour and that set me back but I did great the next time at Brands Hatch and really picked up my confidence.
“I just don’t have the experience of riding in different conditions the way guys 10 and 15 years older than me have.
“I’ll learn and I’m confident that I can get to their level.”
As for the future, he says he’s confident he can reach the top, saying: “I honestly don’t know where I’ll be five or 10 years from now, but I want to get to MotoGP, that would be the ultimate dream for me. Realistically, it all comes down to sponsorship and finances. It’s almost like football in that you get scouted and people or teams take a chance on you and puts money into developing your career.
“Dennis Hobbs, who is our team manager, has been a tremendous mentor for me and someone who I really listen to and take advice from.
“He’s been there and done it and someone I will continue to lean on.”
Jordan would like to thanks his sponsors Highsparks Motorsport, Motorhome Hire Scotland, Crossfit Bathgate and Bike Speed UK for their continued support.
I’m young and know time’s on my side ... I know there’s no rush and it’s just about focusing on getting better
In action Jordan during a race
High hopes Jordan is a star in the making