Young gun Adam McLean building Superbike experience for 2018

Adam McLean on the A&B Installations Kawasaki ZX-10R at Kirkistown. Picture: Gavan Caldwell.
Adam McLean on the A&B Installations Kawasaki ZX-10R at Kirkistown. Picture: Gavan Caldwell.

Adam McLean intends to use the end-of-season short circuit meetings to find his feet with his Kawasaki Superbike ahead of the 2018 road racing season.

The Tobermore rider made his 1000cc racing debut on the A&B Installations Kawasaki ZX-10R last weekend at the Belfast & District Club’s Irish Short circuit meeting at Kirkistown, finishing fourth in race one before sealing an excellent podium with third place in the second race.

McLean took delivery of the machine some months ago but decided against riding it at the likes of Armoy and the Ulster Grand Prix, opting instead to build his experience of the 1000cc Superbike on the circuits before making his roads debut in the big bike class next season.

“It was a bit of an animal to ride but I’m learning with it all the time. I went to a track day and did four sessions before I got a hole in the radiator, then I did the ISB meeting at Kirkistown,” said McLean.

“To be running in the front three and finishing only 1.4 or 1.5 seconds behind the winner was encouraging and I managed to get my times down into the 55s, which is good, but then it doesn’t look so good when you see Christian Iddon doing a lap in 53 seconds [during a test on the Tyco BMW yesterday at the Co Down track].

“But I was happy enough for an Irish championship race and I’m just looking to get time on the bike really and as many miles done as I can.

“I’ve had that bike for a couple of months now but I just haven’t taken it out because I thought it would be better to get a bit of time on it. We were going to take it to a couple of road races but we decided against it,” he added.

“I’ll go to the Davy Wood Memorial meeting at Bishopscourt and then maybe I’ll get another spin out on it somewhere before the end of the season, but after that the next time I’ll be on the bike will be during pre-season testing in Spain next March at the BSB test.”

McLean won’t be in action this weekend at the final Irish National road race of the season at the East Coast Racing Festival at Killalane, but this year’s top Isle of Man TT newcomer will make the trip over to Scarborough later this month to compete in the Gold Cup meeting.

However, he has no plans to ride the 1000cc Kawasaki at Oliver’s Mount and will instead rely on his 600cc MSS Kawasaki.

“To take full benefit of a 1000 at Scarborough you would need to be riding the bike really well because there’s only a second or a couple of seconds in it on the times between a big bike and a 600,” he said.

“I can go out and finish third or fourth on my 600 in the big bike race, so for me to take the big Kawasaki, I don’t think I would be any quicker on it at the moment until I know how to ride it right on the roads.”

McLean’s ZX-10 was built by MSS Performance and is supplied by one of his main sponsors, A&B Installations.

“I’m lucky to have so many good sponsors and A&B Installations are one of our main backers,” he said.

“We have the bike for next year and we’ll try and keep progressing. It’s been a good, solid year and I just want to keep building next season.

“Thanks to MSS Performance, A&B Installations and Roy Hanna Motors for their support last weekend.”

One of the most promising young road racers to emerge in 2017, McLean finished fourth at the North West 200 in the Supersport class and lapped at over 120mph on his debut at the Isle of Man TT.