Jorge Lorenzo could be on target to match his sensational MotoGP debut at Qatar 2008 when the new racing season begins at the same desert circuit on April 12.
Lorenzo took pole position at his very first premier-class attempt last year at Losail, and went on to finish second to Casey Stoner in the race - a result that was repeated during the Qatar night test, which concluded on Tuesday.
Repeating a pattern seen at the previous Sepang test, Lorenzo initially struggled at Qatar, holding seventh on Monday, which was the first night of real testing after rain on Sunday.
However, the young Spaniard found a massive 1.667sec during the final night to jump up to second position, albeit 0.989sec from the untouchable Stoner, and - as on the final day at Sepang - also completed a promising race simulation.
Afterwards, a clearly delighted Lorenzo put most of the progress down to increased understanding of his new-for-2009 Bridgestone tyres.
“I am so happy tonight because this session has been much, much better for us. The long run was especially good but in fact the whole evening has been an improvement, so I am very pleased about the job we have done,” smiled the reigning rookie of the year.
“We've tried some different settings, which have helped, but mainly I have adapted and found a way to be comfortable, which means I can ride faster,” he explained. “I have a much better feeling with the Bridgestone tyres and I was able to be very consistent throughout the long run and keep a good rhythm.
“Everyone has worked really hard to make this step and I am happy to finish this test on a good note. Now I am looking forward to the race!” he confirmed.
Fiat Yamaha team-mate and reigning MotoGP world champion Valentino Rossi was 0.239sec slower than Lorenzo in third.