Glenn Irwin endured a baptism of fire with new team Mar-Train Racing during the opening test of the season down in Spain back in March.
A high-speed crash resulted in a broken finger, damaged knee ligaments and huge bruising to his ego – not to mention a wrecked motorcycle for team owner Tim Martin.
Thanks to support from his British Supersport team boss and the rehabilitation process put in place by the Sports Institute of Northern Ireland at Jordanstown, the 23-year-old is ready for the opening round of the season this coming weekend at Brands Hatch in Kent.
The ever smiling Irwin said: "I'm already over here smelling the race fumes and I can't wait to get started, although I am a little bit anxious I have to be honest."
Irwin lifted the British Supersport Cup title last season and showed enough flair to prove he is well capable of mixing it in with the 'big boys' this season, at the sharp end in British Supersport – but he must stay on two wheels.
Talent aside, in the past the Carrick lad has been known to work on the 'win it or bin it' ethos, but is already showing tangible signs of maturity in the blue and white livery of the Temple based team.
"I had a tough time in Spain but it was a learning experience, although I did get enough time with the team and on the bike to know the package is second to none," he recounted.
"I think we could all have done with more testing prior to the first round this weekend, and while I know I'm capable of winning races on the Mar-Train Yamaha at Brands and later this month at Thruxton, I will be happy to be taking points in the top six or eight to start my season."