Adam McLean clinched his maiden international road racing victory in Thursday’s Supertwins race at the MCE Ulster Grand Prix.
The Tobermore rider dedicated his win to the memory of his McAdoo Racing team-mate, James Cowton, who was killed in a crash at the Southern 100 in July.
The race was brought forward on the schedule after the Supersport event had been red flagged due to heavy rain showers at Dundrod.
In mixed conditions, McLean shot into the lead from pole on Roy Hanna’s Kawasaki and was chased by Christian Elkin. The front two quickly broke clear of the rest as a battle developed for third involving Ian Lougher on the ILR/Mark Coverdale Paton, Michael Sweeney (Kawasaki) and Davey Todd, who was riding the single cylinder Kramer 690.
McLean was unable to make a break from Elkin on the opening laps but he gradually opened a gap and continued to edge away in the middle part of the race, eventually easing into a lead of two seconds.
The 22-year-old kept his nerve in the tricky conditions to take a deserved win over Elkin, with Welsh veteran Lougher incredibly returning to the rostrum as he edged out Sweeney for third.
English rider Todd was a close fifth, while Joey Thompson was a long way back in sixth on the second ILR/Mark Coverdale Paton.
Dan Cooper decided to sit out the race due to the conditions, while Derek McGee was a non-starter on the KMR Kawasaki after being ruled out of the rest of the event following a crash on Wednesday, when he was caught up in an incident involving Seamus Elliott.
After final qualifying, a long delay of two hours 45 minutes ensued before racing commenced as heavy rain showers broke out around the course.