Tom Sykes has a new bike and fresh outlook ahead of the Superbike World Championship's season-opening round at Phillip Island.
Sykes' last four years on the circuit have been trying, to say the least.
The Briton has still been competitive, but he very much played second fiddle to his Kawasaki teammate Jonathan Rea, who has been world champion since 2015.
Sykes needed a clean start and he found it with BMW Motorrad, which is recommitting factory resources into the title race through a completely revamped S1000 RR.
The early signs are promising for Sykes, who was second fastest in the final shakedown at Phillip Island, venue of this weekend's three-race formula debut.
Sykes trailed Ducati's former MotoGP rider Alvaro Bautista, a result which surprised the 33-year-old.
"I'm over the moon with the bike. It's so new in terms of track mileage, but to do those lap times earlier this week is nice because this isn't a particularly strong track for me," he said.
"All things considered, we're probably a little bit more advanced than we were expecting at this point in the program.
"One of the big things is that I'm smiling again and enjoying my racing. I'm getting rid of a black cloud that has followed me around in my personal life."
Bautista is also looking forward to his transition.
"The weekend will also be all-new for me as I have only been used to one race at a MotoGP round - there's no time to relax in this series," the Spaniard said.
Rea was upbeat as the Northern Irishman's latest title defence looms.
"Testing has been going so good for us. We have a new bike this season and step-by-step I am learning the way. These tests have been beneficial to learning a lot more about our bike."
Australia's three-time Superbike champion Troy Bayliss was fastest in practice on Thursday, there are two more sessions on Friday.
Australian Associated Press