PBM rookie Michael Laverty finished his second day as a MotoGP rider with the sharp end of the CRT field already within reach.
The BSB race winner knocked over one-second from his opening day lap time and outpaced five fellow CRT race riders - including team-mate Yonny Hernandez.
Laverty did not have the opportunity to ride in any post-2012 season tests and is also learning the Sepang circuit, making his performance all the more impressive.
“It's a lot to learn in a short space of time,” said Laverty, speaking to Crash.net
after rain brought an early end to Wednesday's action.
“I spent all day yesterday getting comfortable with the tyres and brakes. We had achieved our target lap time from yesterday, then went out this morning and immediately went even quicker.
“I was quite surprised as I didn't feel that I was pushing any harder, but I think it was a combination of a fresh tyre and cooler temperatures, so the lap time came without much effort.
“We chipped away and improved the bike further during the day and stayed on the same tyre. I'm a little disappointed that the rain came as there was definitely another chunk of time in there if we'd put the new tyre in.”
Had the rain not arrived, Laverty feels he had a fighting chance of finding the 0.6s needed to surpass Karel Abraham (ART), Hector Barbera (Avintia) and Hiroshi Aoyama (Avintia).
A further 1.1s would have put Laverty ahead of Danilo Petrucci (Ioda) and behind only Aspar riders Randy de Puniet and Aleix Espargaro, who dominated the new privateer class during its inaugural season.