Adam McLean feels everything finally clicked into place on the international stage at the MCE Ulster Grand Prix after a terrific Thursday for the young prospect at Dundrod.
McLean secured his first major international road racing victory on Roy Hanna’s Kawasaki in the Supertwin race and finished as the runner-up in the Supersport race on the McAdoo Kawasaki behind Conor Cummins.
The 22-year-old has shown his potential in the past, including a fourth place at the North West 200 in the Supersport class in 2016, and McLean is now hoping to build on his momentum during the main race programme.
“I feel good and this is the first international where it has really come good for me. We’ve had the pace in recent times at the North West but we haven’t had the luck, so it is nice to be able to show people what we are capable of,” said the Tobermore man, who dedicated his Supertwins win to team-mate James Cowton, who was sadly killed in a crash last month at the Southern 100.
“Hopefully we can have another good day on Saturday. We’ll just keep chipping away at it and this is really only my third year on the roads.
“Every day is a school day if you like, and every time I’m out there racing with these lads I’m learning more and more.
“I’m getting stronger as a rider and the team is working really well, so I’m happy.”
McLean will be gunning for a repeat of his Supertwins victory and also has excellent prospects of another rostrum in the Supersport class, when he lines up on the front row after qualifying third quickest.
However, he is still finding his feet with the McAdoo Kawasaki ZX-10R and is happy to continue feeling his way in the 1000cc class with the aim of stepping up his progress in 2019.
“We only got one day out on the big bike at Bishopscourt before the season started. It was a new bike, new team and a new class for me, so we were on the back foot all year with it,” he said.
“I’ve been struggling with the big bike to be honest and I’ll just be trying to get a few solid results on it at the ‘Ulster’ and try and get more comfortable on the bike.
“We’ve been trying to do a few short circuit meetings on the bike for more track time and we’ll probably do the rest of the Irish short circuit championship to see if we can get more dialled in with the bike,” McLean added.
“It’s not only me who needs to learn the bike, the lads needs to learn it too with set-up and stuff as well.
“Hopefully we’ll get to Spain with it over the winter time and hit the ground running next year with the ZX-10.”