Adam McLean is aiming to build on his excellent start to the 2019 Irish road racing season at this weekend's 59th Around A Pound Tandragee 100.
The Tobermore rider claimed a win in the Supersport race at the Cookstown 100 for local team McAdoo Racing and also finished on the podium in the Open, feature Superbike and Supertwin races.
He is now in his second stint with the Cookstown-based McAdoo Racing Kawasaki team and the 22-year-old has been making steady progress, underpinning his credentials as one of the sport’s biggest emerging talents.
McLean has put a lot of effort into the 1000cc Kawasaki ZX-10RR over the winter months and his third place in the Cookstown 100 Superbike race behind Derek McGee and Derek Sheils is testament to the strides he has made.
The young Ulster rider is now looking forward to riding the big Kawasaki around the spectacular 5.3-mile Tandragee 100 course this weekend.
“Yes, I’ll be taking the big bike out and we’ve been putting a lot of effort in to the ZX-10RR for this year,” he said.
“I rode it in the second Superbike race at Cookstown and we got a podium, but it’s definitely a bit of a handful. I didn’t bother taking it out in the first Superbike race at Cookstown because conditions weren’t great and I thought the 600 was a better option.
“We had four starts and four podiums, so it was a great way to start off the season and hopefully we can get some more decent results at Tandragee,” he added.
“I had a decent run there last year and we got on the podium a couple of times on the Supertwin and in the Supersport race.
“It’s all coming thick and fast now and before you know it, you’ll blink and you’ll be on the boat home from the TT.”
Last year’s man of the meeting, Derek McGee, also made a flying start at Cookstown as he sealed a treble in the Moto3, Supertwin and Superbike classes.
McGee is a rider in top form at present and the Mullingar man will be confident of claiming a few more top steps tomorrow ahead of the North West 200.
He will have a busy day, with McGee competing in the Moto3, Superbike, Supertwin and Supersport classes.
Fellow Irishman Derek Sheils won the Open Superbike race at Tandragee in 2018 and will start as the slight favourite in the class on the Burrows Engineering/RK Racing Suzuki.
Sheils earned a win in the first Superbike race at Cookstown but his winning streak was ended by McGee in the finale, when the race was declared a result after only three laps.
The Dublin rider lost out on his sixth straight Superbike victory by only 0.092 seconds and Sheils will be out to set the record straight, when he will also compete in the Supersport class on the Roadhouse Macau Racing Yamaha.
Skerries man Michael Sweeney is another rider who will be right in contention at Tandragee. Sweeney finished a close fourth in a memorable Superbike race a year ago, which was won by the late Dan Kneen from McGee and Sheils. He is also a key contender in the Supertwin and Supersport classes.
Banbridge man Shaun Anderson also can’t be dismissed lightly as he makes his roads debut for new team Noel Williamson Racing on a BMW S1000RR.
Anderson’s main priority is the Isle of Man TT, but the Northern Ireland man, who works for KTM in Austria, shouldn’t be too far away as he commences his preparations in earnest.
Gary Dunlop is also entered in the Moto3 class on the Joey’s Bar Honda after missing Cookstown.
The line-up also includes Davy Morgan, Thomas Maxwell, Graham Kennedy, Darryl Tweed, Neil Kernohan, Andy Farrell and Damien Horan.
Practice gets underway on Friday with roads closed from 3pm-9pm. On Saturday, roads close at 10am for an eight-race schedule.