Dwain Chambers believes his 100 metres showdown with Usain Bolt on Friday can kickstart a dramatic improvement in his times two months out from the Olympics.
The 34-year-old takes on the world's fastest man for the first time in an individual race outside of a major championship when they meet at the Golden Spike meeting in Ostrava.
The Jamaican leads the rankings this year with 9.82 seconds, while Chambers' only outing over the distance so far resulted in a pedestrian clocking of 10.52secs.
That came in Puerto Rico earlier this month in his first race since the court ruling which declared the former drug cheat eligible to compete for Great Britain at London 2012 - although he clocked a 100m split of 10.26s in a straight 150m race in Manchester last Sunday.
He will expect to go quicker against the Olympic champion and world record holder in the Czech Republic and is relishing the chance to test himself at a high-profile grand prix meeting after so long in the wilderness.
"No matter what happens, whenever you get a chance to race against Usain you can only get the best out of yourself," Chambers said.
"He's in 9.82 form and he's probably going to get faster and faster so I've just got to do my best to keep close to him."
Chambers, who served a two-year suspension after testing positive for a banned steroid in 2003 and was subsequently snubbed for years by the major meetings, admitted a sub-10 time "would be nice".
The Olympic 'A' qualifying standard of 10.18 is his first target, though, and he feels racing athletes of the calibre of Bolt will be crucial to his preparation for the summer showpiece.
"It's going to make a massive difference because compared to the level of competition I've been running against for the last few years, the quality is higher," the Londoner said.
"In order to beat the best you've got to compete against the best in the world and those opportunities weren't available to me.
"Now that they are, I've automatically got to get myself into a different mindset.
"I'm going to be going up against runners who are effectively sub-9.8 runners and I haven't been in that calibre for a long time."
The truth is Chambers has never been in that calibre, with his personal best 9.97 set way back in 1999.
But he added: "I have all the capabilities, I just need to get my mind sharper and my movements quicker.
"All these factors change. The intensity increases, the pressure increases and your expectations increase as well.
"I haven't had many chances to run against the fastest guys in the world. I have one now and I'm just looking forward to that.
"I'm still on a kind of rollercoaster and trying to find my feet and get myself prepared for competitions that I never expected to be in.''
Chambers will also be up against Jamaican Lerone Clarke and and American Darvis Patton, whose best this year are 9.99 and 10.04 respectively, as well as last year's World Championship bronze medallist Kim Collins.
Chambers prepared for the summer season by training in Jamaica alongside former world record holder Asafa Powell and was in the Caribbean when the ruling overturning the British Olympic Association's lifetime ban was announced.
He returned to Britain ahead of his 150m run at the Powerade Great CityGames, where he got a warm reception on his first paid appearance on home soil in six years.
Chambers will also run as part of a Great Britain 4x100m relay team at the Rome Diamond League meeting on May 31 after for so long being left out of the relay picture because of his Olympic ban.