Adam McLean has reaped the benefits of six days of testing in the Spanish sun 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 in Cartagena followed by three more days on the track in Almeria.
Just a month away from the centenary Cookstown 100 lifts the curtain on the new season, McLean feels 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 two-time Supersport and Supertwin race winner at Cookstown in 2020 and again last September, said: “We have a Kawasaki 600 training bike so I took it with me on Spain and it was actually quite a busy week.
“We went to Cartagena for three days and then traveled along the coast to Almeria for another three days which gave us six days on the trot. It was good to do a lot of laps and put in a lot of miles.
“I think every time you go to Spain and do that many laps, it’s hard to replicate that at home,” McLean added.
“That’s why I like going to Spain because I think if you go to Kirkistown or Bishopscourt there’s only a certain level you can reach in a short time.
“But to go to Cartagena in Spain and spend three days doing lap after lap after lap, you can start and get the final 5% and learn a bit more.
“I always find you come home riding a little better than you would if you were spending time testing here in the UK, so I enjoyed it and it was nice to get away to the sun too.”
The 2017 TT’s top newcomer will also be taking part in the British Superbike tests at Donington Park and Silverstone in the coming weeks as he intends to focus on the McAdoo Kawasaki Superbike.
“Our next outing will likely be at the BSB tests at Donington and Silverstone, which take place the last week of March and the first week of April,” McLean said.
“I’m going to take the Kawasaki ZX-10 to those just to get a few miles on the big bike.
“If we can improve a bit on the big bike in pre-season and try to find a bit more rhythm in me, hopefully we can take that to Cookstown and take another step forward with the ZX- 10.
“It will be my main focus this year before every race, to progress a bit more on the big bike as it has been difficult the past few years with my injuries and the lack of racing due to Covid,” explained McLean, who is starting 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 level, and I’ve been able to build on the work I’ve done. because I’m not recovering from an injury.”
McLean will race a full stable of Kawasaki machines in the Superbike, Supersport and Supertwin classes at the Ulster National Road Races, as well as the North West 200 and Isle of Man TT.
He is also expected to return to the Manx Grand Prix at the end of August.
Meanwhile, the second round of the MotoGP World Championship (07:00 GMT) takes place today at the new street circuit of Mandalika in Indonesia, which hosts a round of the series for the first time.