Adam McLean is bristling with confidence as he looks towards next month’s MCE Ulster Grand Prix.
The young Tobermore rider has excelled this season, building on a terrific fourth place in the Supersport class at the North West 200 by impressing on his debut at the Isle of Man TT, where he lapped at more than 120mph on his MSS Kawasaki to leave the island as the top newcomer.
Earlier this month, McLean won the Supersport race on his debut at Walderstown as he secured his maiden victory in the class at Irish National level.
The 21-year-old is riding on the crest of a wave but McLean is taking it all in his stride as he prepares for the last of the ‘big three’ major international road races of the season.
McLean, sixth in the Supertwins race at Dundrod last year and 12th in the Supersport class, said: “I’ve had a really strong year and it does give me a lot of confidence coming to the Ulster.
“It was nice to get the leading newcomer award at the TT; I’d put a lot of homework in over the winter and did a lot of laps to get used to the circuit, so I was happy. Before I went I set myself a goal of a 120mph lap and to do that on the third night of practice, I was over the moon.
“I’ve only been road racing a couple of years really, and for this being just my second full year in road racing, if somebody had told me the results that I’ve got at this stage I’d have probably laughed at them. I am living the dream and just really enjoying it,” he added.
“I have to say though that it doesn’t matter to me whether everyone is talking about me or nobody is: I’m still going to go and give 100 per-cent as I always do so I just need to keep focused on my goals.”
In addition to his MSS Kawasaki 600, McLean will compete in the Ultra-Lightweight class on Mark Hanna’s 125 Honda and is also entered in the Supertwins class on the Roy Hanna Motors/MJ Palmer Kawasaki as he bids for his first-ever international podium.
“I’ve the best bikes I could possibly have at the minute and I have a lot of good people around me, so I’m more than happy with my set-up running up to the Ulster,” added McLean.
“I’d almost prefer to keep my goals to myself but I know what I want to achieve and I will have a really good crack at it. In the Supertwins class I’d like to be there or thereabouts with a podium or a win and I’d be really happy with a top five on the 600.
“Dundrod is fast, it’s flowing and it suits my riding style. I really enjoyed last year and the fact that I’m now a lot stronger and my pace is a lot better means I’ve been looking forward to getting to it all year.
“I’d like to add that we’re a small run team and it’s extremely difficult to operate financially at this level, so we’re always happy to welcome new sponsors on board.”
McLean was on hand as Maxwell Freight Services – sponsor of the UGP Supertwins race – announced a special prize for the race winner on Saturday, August 12, in the form of a customised set of number plates.
With the race being the sixth event on the day, brothers Tommy and Terry Maxwell have put up a set of plates reading ‘R6 UGP’ for the winner to keep.
Noel Johnston, Clerk of the Course, said: “I have a feeling that Adam could be the real dark horse of this year’s event. I have been seriously impressed with what I’ve seen of him so far and he’s only just getting into his stride.
“Adam is one to watch for sure, in any of the classes.”