Young McAdoo Racing rider Adam McLean is staying positive after the Tobermore man was ruled out of the North West 200 and Isle of Man TT following a crash at the Tandragee 100.
McLean came off on the final lap of the Supertwin race and sustained injuries including a broken right arm, a broken left collarbone and shoulder blade, a fractured pelvis and a broken rib.
It was a huge blow for the 23-year-old, who started his second season with the Cookstown-based team in terrific form, reinforcing his reputation as a rider with a big future ahead of him.
McLean won the Supersport race at the Cookstown 100 in April and he was right in the mix again at Tandragee, finishing second in the class behind Derek McGee. However, it was his performance on the McAdoo Kawasaki ZX-10RR that really caught the eye, with McLean keeping pace with McGee and eventual winner Derek Sheils in the first Superbike race until a rear shock issue slowed his progress.
Nonetheless, he still clocked the fastest lap of the day around the 5.3-mile course as he finished in a comfortable third position.
His hopes for the North West and TT have been wiped out, but McLean is trying to remain upbeat as he focuses on returning to action later this season.
In an exclusive interview, the unassuming Ulsterman – speaking from his hospital bed – told the News Letter: “It dawned on me on Sunday that I’m going to miss the North West 200 and the Isle of Man TT – the two biggest races of the year – so I’m obviously gutted about that.
“That’s racing and there is nothing I can do about it now, so hopefully I’ll be good in about six to eight weeks, but it will definitely be after the TT before I’ve any chance of riding a bike again.
“I’m just quite uncomfortable at the minute because I’m stuck on my back really, as I don’t have a good side to lie on. I broke my right arm in three places and then on my left side I’ve a broken collarbone and shoulder blade,” McLean said.
“I’m going for surgery on my collarbone on Thursday but I’ll need a fair bit of rehabilitation and physio after that. I can’t walk because I’ve broken my pelvis and it will be six weeks or so before I can put any weight on it.”
Reflecting on his performances at Tandragee, McGee said he made a major breakthrough with the set-up of his 1000cc Kawasaki.
“It’s just disappointing because we made some suspension changes to the big bike on Saturday and it was like a different motorcycle,” he said.
“I was able to ride on the pace of the front two (Derek Sheils and Derek McGee) and I set the fastest lap of the day, but the rear shock dropped off in the last three laps and that’s why I dropped back a bit.
“I knew I had breathing room between myself and fourth place so I just brought the bike home. The bike was a lot more stable and we’ve still got some more to come from it, but it’s a big step in the right direction.
“I just want to say a big thanks to the McAdoo Racing Team and the medical staff who looked after me, and also to everyone who has sent me nice messages,” he added.
“Also special thanks to Michael Sweeney because he was behind me when I crashed and he stayed with me until I left in the ambulance, which was really good of him.
“I don’t think I was aware of it at the time but he opened my visor and kept me awake because I think was trying to go to sleep!”
The McAdoo Racing team has ruled out drafting in another rider for the North West or TT.
Jason McAdoo said: “That’s not our style. Our style in racing is to back someone and really believe in them and stick with them.
“We’re not a team put any Tom, Dick or Harry on our bikes just to get out there and the bikes are Adam’s until such time as he is fit to ride again.
“Adam was watching the highlights on the Supersport race in hospital and he is mad keen to get back, so we will probably do a few Irish Superbike rounds when he is fit again before he goes back on the roads to get him back up to speed.”