Padgetts Honda rider Ian Lowry almost quit racing at the end of last season as he contemplated turning his back on the sport and returning to a 'normal' day job with his dad.
Lowry makes no secret of the fact that he struggled to assert himself over the past two seasons and was so demoralised he was on the brink of calling time on his career once and for all.
From the position of leading British Superbike rookie in 2009, Lowry went backwards during the ensuing two years, his progress stifled by a series of failed ventures on ultimately uncompetitive machinery.
But just when the Ulster rider had all but given up hope of proving he could still cut it at the top level, he was offered the chance to team up with Clive Padgett, who was making a return to the premier class in BSB in 2012.
A revitalised Lowry is determined to make the most of the opportunity and following a promising pre-season development programme, he has made a terrific start to the campaign, finishing fourth at Brands Hatch in the opening round last month before claiming his maiden victory in the class at Thruxton.
Lowry has gained a certain satisfaction from silencing those critics who felt he was a spent force, but most importantly he realised the potential he always felt he possessed.
“I was so close to knocking racing on the head last year; at the end of last season I was thinking about giving up racing altogether and going to work for my dad,” Lowry said.
“Over the past two years I became so demoralised, but the experience has made me a stronger person and I now I feel I'm able to deal with the downs as well as the ups in this sport.
“To come back after what I've been through over these past couple of years has made me a stronger person and a stronger rider for sure.