Ian Hutchinson has tested the Tyco BMW Superbike he will ride at this year's Isle of Man TT for the first time at Cartagena in Spain.
The 36-year-old overcame the odds to win three races around the Mountain Course last season, five years after he almost lost his left leg as a result of a crash in a British Supersport race at Silverstone.
Hutchy will lead the Northern Ireland team's international road racing assault after Guy Martin's decision to compete in the Tour Divide mountain bike event in America.
The Bingley Bullet won both Supersport races at the TT in 2015 on the Team Traction Control Yamaha plus the Superstock race on Paul Bird's Kawasaki.
However, a coveted Superbike triumph eluded him and Hutchy will be aiming to scale the top step on the Tyco BMW in June, when the RST Superbike and PokerStars Senior races take top billing.
Reflecting on his first test on the S1000RR Superbike, Hutchinson said: “We are obviously working from scratch to get the bike to suit my style but immediately the chassis feels superb,” he said.
“I thought the Superstock bike was impressive – and it is – but I was itching to get on the Superbike and I have to say I wasn't disappointed.
“It's starting to really feel like my own bike already after just a couple of sessions, which is testament to the work the team has put in behind the scenes and also here in Spain.”
Cameron Donald and Bruce Anstey were the last riders to secure a victory for Ulster's TAS Racing team at the TT in 2008.