After fourth place finishes in the last two races, Jorge Lorenzo has pinpointed a top-three return as his main goal this weekend in Sepang - a result that would also wrap up the 2008 MotoGP rookie of the year title for the young Spaniard.
The Fiat Yamaha rider currently lies fourth in the championship with a 37-point advantage over fellow debutante Andrea Dovizioso, with just two rounds and 50 points remaining.
Should Lorenzo succeed in holding fourth at the end of the season, then he will have achieved the highest championship position for a rookie since Valentino Rossi took second in the 2000 500cc World Championship.
"I'm looking forward to arriving in Malaysia and going to a quite a fast circuit, which I like and where most importantly we've tested already this year and things didn't go badly," said Jorge, who won the 250cc race at Sepang two years ago and clinched his second world title in the class with third last year.
"We've scored decent results over the last four races so I'm optimistic going into the final two rounds of my rookie MotoGP season. We've got a couple of fourth places recently so now I'd like to get back on the podium."
Although Michelin will be withdrawing from MotoGP at the end of the 2008 season, Lorenzo believes that the French brand will continue development right to the end.
"I hope and believe that Michelin will come up with some tyres that give slightly better performance than in Japan and Australia, where we were just a little bit short of being with the best," he said.
"Malaysia is a track we already tested at three times in the winter - once at the end of 2007 and twice at the start of 2008," added team manager Daniele Romagnoli. "We have a base set-up, lots of information and Jorge knows how to ride the bike here. If you look at the results so far this season Michelin have done well at tracks where we have tested previously so I'm sure they will be competitive again.
"We fought for pole position in the last round at Phillip Island and quite honestly we were a little disappointed not to be on the podium. It would be great to make up for that this weekend but whatever happens Jorge has already surpassed our expectations for him this season so there is absolutely no pressure on him – we just want him to enjoy himself and to do his best," he insisted.
First free practice at Sepang takes place on Friday morning.