Adam McLean has reaped the benefits of six days of testing in the Spanish sunshine as he prepares for the return of a full Irish road racing campaign in 2022.
The Tobermore man racked up the miles on the McAdoo Kawasaki 600 with a three-day test at Cartagena followed by a further three days on track at Almeria.
With only one month until the centenary Cookstown 100 lifts the curtain on the new season, McLean is feeling fitter than ever after stepping up his training in the winter, when he had the luxury of being injury-free for the first time since late 2019.
The 26-year-old, a double race winner in the Supersport and Supertwin classes at Cookstown in 2020 and again last September, said: “We have a Kawasaki 600 practice bike so I took that with me to Spain and it was actually a busy enough week.
“We went to Cartagena for three days and then travelled down the coast to Almeria for another three days, so that gave us six days on the trot. It was good to just get plenty of laps done and a load of miles in.
“I think whenever you go to Spain and do so many laps, it’s hard to replicate that at home,” McLean added.
“That’s why I like going away to Spain because I think if you’re going to the likes of Kirkistown or Bishopscourt, there’s only a certain level you can get to in a short period of time.
“But to go to the likes of Cartagena in Spain and spend three days just doing lap after lap after lap, you can start and get that final 5% and learn a bit more.
“I always find that you come home riding a bit better than you would do if you spent the time testing here in the UK, so I enjoyed it and it was nice to get away in the sun for a bit too.”
The 2017 top TT newcomer has also pencilled in the British Superbike tests at Donington Park and Silverstone in the next few weeks, when he intends to concentrate on the McAdoo Kawasaki Superbike.
“Our next outing will probably be at the Donington and Silverstone BSB tests, which take place in the last week of March and the first week in April,” McLean said.
“I’ll be taking the ZX-10 Kawasaki to those just to get some miles on the big bike.
“If we can improve a bit on the big bike during pre-season and try and find a bit more pace within myself, hopefully we can carry that to Cookstown and make another step forward with the ZX-10.
“That will be my main aim this year heading into every race, to make a bit more progress on the big bike because it’s been difficult over the past few years with my injuries and the lack of races due to Covid,” explained McLean, who is entering his fifth year with the Cookstown-based McAdoo team.
“I’m probably in better shape now than I’ve ever been in my career so far because my training is now at a much higher standard, and I have been able to get the benefits of the work that I have been putting in because I haven’t been recovering from injury.”
McLean will ride a full stable of Kawasaki machines in the Superbike, Supersport and Supertwin classes at the Ulster national road races, plus the North West 200 and Isle of Man TT.
He is also set to return to the Manx Grand Prix in late August.
Meanwhile, the second round of the MotoGP World Championship (7am GMT) takes place today at the new Mandalika street circuit in Indonesia, which is hosting a round of the series for the first time.