Less than four weeks ago Rushers Racing arrived at Oulton Park with high hopes to continue the fight at the top of the Thundersports Elite 600 Championship. Jordan was as ready as ever and began Qualifying with the same focus that has kept him leading the points standing for most of the year. But a fall brought the reality of Motorsports cruel twists of fate into contention and after a monumental effort by Team Rushers to rebuild the bike, the team left deflated and trailing the charging Charlie Morris for the first time this season.
Rockingham could not come soon enough, to mount the challenge back on track to regain the top spot from Morris. The thundering noise could be heard throughout Northants as the Two Wheeled Goliath’s made last minute changes to the bikes set up during Friday practice on the 2 mile complex Rockingham International Circuit ahead of what was promising to be a fantastic weekend of racing.
Jordan felt confident in himself heading into Qualifying but the damage on the bike sustained at Oulton Park meant the perfect feeling under the seat was just not quite there yet.
Heading out onto track Jordan set out to put himself into contention for the triple header. Soon after the demons of Qualifying struck once again. The power cut to the bike and Jordan had to leave the track as his Thundersports Yamaha gave in almost immediately into the session.
Lady luck was shining on the Nascar Speedway inspired race circuit as the red flag came out to stop the session due to an incident further round the track.
With shades of Moto GP’s Marc Marquez, Jordan grabbed his bike and made a dash back to the pits. Not many reading this will truly understand the weight of a race bike whilst pushing off balance in full race leathers and helmet, but the sites of Jordan collapsing in the pits on his return was a clear indication that his journey would have been admired by an Olympian.
Nigel pushed the bike into the garage and began working immediately, something simple must have caused this, surely! The ignition circuit sat waving at the service team, a single wire disconnected could have caused the weekend to end prematurely. But a quick change of direction in the location of the parts meant Jordan was back on his seat with the engine roaring once again and with enough time to get back out to set a time ahead of the afternoons race.
Jordan would go out on cold tyres meaning the early stint was like riding a wet race on slicks. With the clock ticking down Jordan managed to set the 8th quickest time of the session knowing a few more laps would have brought grip into his rubber and taken him potentially onto the front row. This was by no means a disappointing end to what could have been another catastrophic Qualifying in 2016.
Jordan would line up on Row 3 alongside his main rival currently in the championship, Charlie Morris. Will White would sit on pole after Aaron Clifford, who took pole during qualifying, had to return home early due to a family bereavement.
One thing we do know is that Jordan has an immense ability on the initial start line when the lights go out so even with 6 very strong competitors ahead he would have the goal to be kissing the first Apex in P1.
The lights dropped and Jordan set out of the blocks with lightening pace. He managed to jump up to P2 and keep the bike planted as he kept on the heels of lead rider Will White.
Over 12 laps Jordan would watch the in form White extend his lead to continue on and take the first of a clean sweep of victories this weekend.
More Pressing Jordan would welcome Max Wadsworth to his podium challenge and with some flowing lines and clean racing, Jordan would keep his P2 until Lap 10 when Wadsworth would charge inside to take position.
Jordan rode with a cool head knowing that after the bike has suffered extensive damage, we could not afford to have another DNF. The challenge was to stay ahead of Morris and despite see the MSG Racing Suzuki close in on the podium positions, Jordan kept position and came home in P3 behind Race Winner Will White and P2 Charger Max Wadsworth.
As Sunday arrived the gap between Rushby and Morris in the Championship Standings had been reduce by a whisper. Two races were ahead for Jordan to continue picking up valuable points and with the bike feeling good the confidence was high.
Normal service was resuming in the grid positions for todays race with Jordan lining up in the centre of row 2 alongside Jonny Towers who was also hoping to push on in this race. Main Rival Charlie Morris would line up on the front row alongside Will White so the challenge had been set. Jordan to make a lightening start and get ahead of Morris.
The lights went out and both Jordan and Jonny Towers had dropped the clutch a fraction too soon. They both knew what had happened so stopped and started again giving the time back.
This was not to be rewarded positively by the race stewards and with Charlie Morries taking full advantage to follow Will White home in P2 OA, Jordan would drop back to 8th after a 10 second penalty for a “Jump Start”.
The mood in camp was of frustration as the gap in the championship would now be extended due to the last race. But champions are crowned over a full season and not race by race. Jordan would remain focused on the job in hand and that was what he had to do on track for the next challenge. Race 3 was upon us and the aim remained to finish as high as possible and collect as many points as possible to add to an already fantastic haul over the current season.
Jordan would arrive on the grid on the second row in the perfect zone and once the lights dropped there were no memories of the previous jump start. The top 6 would only look on as the Black and Orange Rushby would glide through the front rows and into the lead.
Jordan would keep position for the first three laps, with an open circuit ahead anything was possible. Will White had other plans though and after topping every time sheet throughout the weekend he was not letting Rushby spoil the party.
The move was made on Lap 4 and White would take the lead for the first time in the race.
Jordan, however, would not be watching White go this time. Jordan dropoped the hammer and would keep his front tyre less than half a second from the rear of Whites Get Low Racing Triumph.
Lap 7 came, Jordan found a gap to chase and would cross the line back in the overall lead as arguably the most close racing of the Thundersports Season was playing out on the complex Rockingham Circuit.
By the end of Lap 8 White would have regained the lead but Jordan was not letting this one go. in a game of Cat and Mouse, neither rider would choose their character and the remaining laps would be a spectacle for all those who attended the race weekend.
White would emerge victorious but not without having earned his trophy thanks to an incredible performance by Jordan Rushby once again after returning from a big off at Oulton Park.
The gap in the table has extended and Rushers Racing have 13 steps to climb to be back where we want to be. With a now resurgent Will White (183) joining the challenge alongside the very talented and super quick Aaron Clifford (106), this will go down to the wire in a 4 horse race with 225 points still to play.
Anglessey is next during the bank holiday weekend of August which combines with Jordans Birthday. We head over to the stunning Welsh circuit with a goal to help Jordan achieve a Birthday to remember !
As usual we would like to thank all of our sponsors and team for making this possible. We are lucky to be supported by some great national companies, who offer financial backing for our racing costs throughout the 2016 season. To all these companies we can not thank you enough for contributing to Jordan’s future progress, and we hope you all feel part of our racing team.
-See more at: http://www.jordanrushby.co.uk
-Photo Credits in this article go to the incredibly talented photographer Colin Port of Colin Port Images.