I found myself thinking... I remember what this was like, it's a bit of a fight.- Ted Collins
Warrnambool's Ted Collins admits his three-year hiatus as a full-time Australian Superbike Championship rider had been "eating away" at him, as he fully appreciates the opportunity to return with a professional team.
The Livson Racing rider, who joined its ranks in January, enjoyed a strong return to the championships in the opening round at Phillip Island last month, sitting fifth of 17 on the championship leader-board ahead of round two.
Collins, who debuted in superbikes in 2017, said he hadn't taken his homecoming for granted.
"Having the opportunity to race and be competitive... I have a different mindset now, just how bad I want to be there and how hard I've worked to make sure I can be there," he said.
Collins' 2023 season resumes on Friday, with round two of the championships back at Sydney Motorsport Park for the first time since 2019.
In what will be ASBK's first-ever round under lights, Collins enters with an understanding of its increased level of difficultly but remains confident the team can walk away with a solid result.
"Sydney's a bit of an unfamiliar track for us and a home track for a lot of others," Collins said.
"We're still going to push for a good result. I've got such a good team around me... we'll work our way through it and I think by the time we get to Saturday afternoon's races, we should be in quite a good spot."
Collins said he had felt good on the bike in round one, as he quickly re-familiarised himself with the top level.
"It was good to just get that one out of the way and get back into the swing of things," he said.
"In the end, we had a super consistent weekend, we came out sitting fifth in the championship which was probably better than our expectations, I guess.
"You're thrown into a lot of different scenarios on a race weekend. We all work really well as a team, and we had no issues, everyone's really good and professional.
"It was good to see how smoothly it all ran and the nerves are a lot more eased going into round two."
Collins recalled a moment in the opening race that made him fully appreciate rejoining its superbikes' ranks.
"The first race on the first lap... because the racing is super close and aggressive, it took me a little bit to get my head around that and the first race," he said. "I found myself thinking... I remember what this was like, it's a bit of a fight."
Collins thanked his local sponsors for their support.
Round two of the Australian Superbike Championship runs Friday and Saturday. Three-time winner Josh Waters leads the championship.
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