Thomas Luthi helped put an injury ruined 2013 season behind him by leading both days of private post-season testing at Jerez.
Riding alongside his main 2014 rivals, the Swiss Suter star lowered his best time from a 1m 42.662s on Thursday to 1m 42.046s - 0.7s under the official pole record - by the conclusion of Friday's running.
Luthi, sixth in this year's championship despite missing the final pre-season tests and opening races due to a serious arm injury, finished 0.239s ahead of new Marc VDS (Kalex) rider Esteve Rabat.
Third in the 2013 standings for the Pons (Kalex) team, Rabat is the leading rider to remain in the class and is confident of being at the front throughout 2014.
"I'm very happy with the progress made on both days,” said the Spaniard. “The first day I had a good feeling with the bike and the second day was even better. Working with my new crew and my new team-mate, Mika [Kallio], has been good, and we communicate well together as a team already.
“So, the start with Marc VDS has been a good one for me, but now we need to keep working over the winter and during pre-season testing, because the target is to fight for the win in every race next year. After these two days with the team in Jerez, I believe this is an achievable goal."
Aspar's 2013 race winner Jordi Torres dropped from second to third place (+0.641s) on the final day, again as the quickest Suter rider, with new Honda Team Asia rider Takaaki Nakagami (Kalex), new Gresini (Suter) signing Xavier Simeon and Torres' team-mate Nico Terol completing the top six.
World Supersport champion Sam Lowes completed a highly promising debut with seventh place on both days - as the leading Speed Up rider and class rookie - although the gap to the top grew from 0.4s to 0.9s.
The new Caterham (Suter) team was eleventh and 17th with Johann Zarco and American Superbike champion Josh Herrin respectively, while Moto3 champion Maverick Vinales and former title rival Luis Salom were 16th and 18th for the Pons team.
for more pictures from the test...