By Kyle White Belfast Newsletter.
Adam McLean will return to the British Superbike Championship in an exciting new venture with Ian Lougher to ride the all-new 2021 Honda in the National Junior Superstock class.
The Tobermore man plans to contest as many of the remaining rounds as possible this season in the Team ILR colours on the latest CBR600RR machine, which McLean says is the only one of its kind being raced in the UK.
In 2020, the 25-year-old finished 14th in the series on a Yamaha for Binch Racing, although the campaign ended on a low note when McLean suffered a broken right humerus following a crash in qualifying at the final round at Brands Hatch last October.
The injury proved complicated, but rising road racing prospect McLean used the time during the Covid-19 lockdown to work on his recovery and made a successful return this year, with his results at Armoy at the end of July including a runner-up finish behind Michael Dunlop in the first Supersport race, plus a podium in race two and another third place in the Supertwin class.
McLean, who competes for the Cookstown-based McAdoo Racing team on the roads, told the News Letter: “Honda brought out a new 2021 Supersport bike but it didn’t come to the European market for one reason and another, but Ian (Lougher) got two of them from Japan and has got permission to run one in BSB in the Junior Superstock class.
“He approached me earlier on in the year and we had a chat about it, so the plan is to do as many of the remaining rounds as possible. It’s an exciting project to be involved with and hopefully with Ian’s experience, he can bring the best out of me on track.
“The new Honda is the only one of its kind in the UK and it could be the only one being raced in Europe at the minute, that we know of. Other than that, they’re being raced in the Japanese and Asian championships,” added the Ulster Grand Prix winner.
“We’re in for a busy second half of the season with the Cookstown 100 in the mix as well, but I’m looking forward to it.”
McLean was impressed with the new Honda following a test at Kirkistown in Co Down on Sunday, and will now head straight to Snetterton in Norfolk for next weekend’s British Superbike round (September 3-5) prior to the Cookstown 100 in Co Tyrone.
“We did a test day on the bike at Kirkistown on Sunday and previously I’d only done about 20 laps at Bishopscourt, so we had a good day on Sunday,” he said.
“It’s a new bike so it took us a while to find a direction with it, but towards the end of the day we were starting to make progress and get something of a base setting sorted with it.
“First impressions are very good, so we’ll see next weekend how we get on and go from there. Snetterton will be a bit of a learning curve for us as well because we don’t have much data for myself on the bike, so it will be about getting to know the bike more and finding a direction to go in for the rest of the year. I’m looking forward to the challenge.”
Looking ahead to the final Irish road race of the year at Cookstown, McLean said he would be in action on the McAdoo Kawasaki Superbike after missing out on the class at Armoy.
“I’ll be out on the McAdoo Superbike, the 600 and the Supertwin at Cookstown next month, so it’ll be good to have a run out at Snetterton to get us up to speed,” he said.
“I actually found that after Armoy I was left with a bit of road-race rust, as I call it, which basically means I was riding at 95 per-cent when I went back to the short circuits after doing Armoy, instead of 100 per-cent.
“It takes a while to adjust back into short circuit mode, so getting to Snetterton the week before will be good preparation for Cookstown.”