North West 200: Adam McLean determined to top last year's feat despite qualifying crash
Adam McLean is keeping a level head as the young prospect analyses his chances in tomorrow's main race day at the Vauxhall International North West 200.
McLean impressed with a superb ride to fourth place in the second Supersport race last year and the 22-year-old has continued to make eye-catching progress on the roads.
He earned the ‘man of the meeting’ tag at the Cookstown 100 last month — where he won the Supertwins race — and also shone at the Tandragee 100, when he finished on the rostrum in the Supertwin and Supersport races.
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He signed for highly respected County Tyrone team McAdoo Racing this year to ride Kawasaki machinery and will also continue riding loyal sponsor Roy Hanna’s Kawasaki Supertwin.
Yesterday McLean was fortunate to escape injury after a dramatic crash on the final lap of qualifying in the Supertwin class.
He clipped the kerb on the exit of the Juniper Hill chicane and was fired over the top of the 650cc Kawasaki.
Nonetheless, McLean still qualified in second place behind pole man Martin Jessopp.
Following the incident, he explained: “It was the last lap and I was trying to put a fast time in and I just clipped the chicane on the way out.
“I’m a bit sore but we’ll get out in the next session and get some laps in.
“It’s just one of those things, it’s a bit unfortunate but it happens.
“The bike was a bit average after that but the boys worked hard at it to make sure we would be able to get it out again.”
That crash aside, last year’s top Isle of Man TT newcomer is pleased with his season so far, although he is staying grounded over his chances tomorrow.
“We came into the North West with a bit of confidence, the bikes are working well and I’m happy with how I’m riding,” McLean said.
“For me, my best chance is on the 600 and Supertwin. I feel I’m riding both bikes well but you never know what to expect in the races.
“It’s so hard to predict how things will go at the North West and a lot of those guys at the front have been going to the event for so long and they have that extra experience.
“I’ve really only had one year at the North West but hopefully we can have a good day,” added McLean, who qualified seventh in the Supersport class.
“If we had another year like last year, then we’d be happy with that and top six results would be fantastic,” he commented.
“There’s no point in me saying I’m going to go out and finish on the podium or whatever because I’m not sure that I have that final bit in me just yet, which you need to be able to challenge like that.”