Tommy Hill insists he is feeling stronger than ever as he prepares for his first World Superbike group test in Portugal this week.
Having endured an injury riddled 2008 season, one that saw him sitting on the sidelines all year after two debilitating accidents, Hill is putting that behind him with a view to getting amongst the front runners during testing at Portimao.
Competing with Althea Honda, although Hill has already completed a shakedown late last year, this will be his first proper appearance in a group test, while he also has the disadvantage of seeing Portimao for the first time.
Nonetheless, Hill will have one less thing to worry about when he does get going after revealing that he his fully fit again following a lengthy rehabilitation process.
"My fitness is as high if not higher than it has ever been and the last time I saw my doctor about my leg was two months ago," he told the WSBK website. "He gave me the all clear way back then, and I have been working hard. Normally when you have had a long-term injury you lose a degree of fitness, but I'm fit and raring to go.
"I had a good test recently in Cartagena, but it was mostly a shakedown test. It was good to get back on a bike for the first time in a while, and lap at a good pace. I was riding the bike Roby Rolfo finished the season on last year, but we will have some new things from now on because the team has been working closely with Magneti Marelli.
"A lot of things in racing are now down to electronics - I'm sure every rider bores people by saying that - but nowadays you need to get the electronics package right. If not, you lose little packets of time at certain parts of each track. This championship is going to be so competitive that nobody can be seen to be slowing down anywhere."