Khairul Idham Pawi is targeting regular top-five finishes and a return to the grand prix podium during his 2020 Moto3 comeback.

Pawi made history for Malaysia when he claimed the country's first grand prix victories with some stunning wet weather rides during a rookie 2016 Moto3 campaign for Honda Team Asia.

But a surprise move straight up to Moto2 backfired, with Pawi managing only occasional points finishes over the next two years. A fresh Moto2 start with his home Sepang team was then ruined by a nasty finger injury early in 2019.

Retained by the Petronas squad, Pawi – still only 21 – will now aim to hit the reset button by dropping back to the junior class, as team-mate to last year's Sepang Team race winner John McPhee.

“I was considering a return to Moto3 for a long time because I only had one year there, but I was able to get good results," Pawi said. "Moto2 started with promise last year, but the injury and then the recovery meant that a return to Moto3 looked like a good option.”

Pawi – who says his badly damaged finger is now "in good shape and not a problem for my riding" - was reacquainted with the 250cc class during post-season testing in November.

“With the Moto3 test in Jerez, the feeling was good and coming back step-by-step after a long time of not riding the bike," he said. "Of course, I was not at 100% immediately and I needed to improve.

“Of course, the Moto2 and the Moto3 bike are very different!" he added. "The power, the speed in the corners, the braking points – these are all very different, and this is added to the challenge of my recovery and return too.”

McPhee, who made history with the first grand prix win for the Sepang team at Le Mans last year, has been happy to help speed-up Pawi's learning process.

“John helped me a lot on track last time at the test in Jerez. He gave a good insight to the data and also showed me some good lines – I was really happy that he did this and it shows he’s a true team player," Pawi said, before turning to his targets for the year ahead:

“For this season, I want to target to stay within the top five and of course I want to visit the podium! I want to increase my feeling on the bike and improve quickly. I know the team and John will help me a lot and I want to get some good results for them.”