2018 Ulster GP: McLean takes Supertwin win

Picture: Derek Wilson

Adam McLean claimed his maiden Ulster Grand Prix victory on Thursday evening when he won the Supertwins race by 5.7s from Christian Elkin with evergreen Ian Lougher taking third.

After a perfect day of weather, the skies clouded over prior to the initial race start but not long after the Supersport race started, just after 3.15pm, then the heavens opened resulting in a red flag half way round the second lap.

The rain finally abated and after a lengthy delay to get the 7.4-mile circuit cleared of standing water, it was 6.20pm before racing resumed and when it did it was the Supertwins that went out.

With pole setter Derek McGee sadly absent due to injuries sustained on Wednesday, McLean started from the head of the front row on the Roy Hanna Motors Kawasaki and grabbed the lead from the outset, his advantage over Elkin 1.6s as they completed the first lap. They’d immediately opened up a substantial gap over the rest of the field with third placed Davey Todd almost ten seconds in arrears.

Second time around and Elkin (Dynocentre NI Kawasaki) reduced the deficit to 1.3s whilst it was now a three-way battle for third as Michael Sweeney (Kiely Heating Kawasaki) moved ahead of Todd on the Kramer 690 and Ian Lougher (ILR/Coverdale Paton). His team-mate Joey Thompson was occupying sixth.

On lap three, McLean pulled away again, increasing his gap over Elkin to 1.8s but the scrap for third continued to rage as just half a second covered Todd, Lougher and Sweeney.

McLean set the fastest lap of the race, 113.465mph, on the fourth lap which finally broke Elkin’s challenge and he eventually crossed the line at the end of the five laps some 5.7s clear.

Third place went right down to the wire though and it was the wily Lougher that prevailed over Sweeney and Todd, the trio split by only 0.2s at the chequered flag. Thompson had a lonely ride into sixth as Neil Kernohan, Xavier Denis, Darren Cooper and Dominic Herbertson rounded out the top ten.

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