Michael Laverty says he is already convinced of the potential of Paul Bird's new in-house MotoGP chassis despite only seriously running in the final afternoon of the three day Sepang test.
Problems incorporating the standard Magnetti Marelli electronics into the new bike meant Laverty was effectively a bystander over the first two days at Sepang, but he was able to get out in the final afternoon and finished 22nd fastest.
With team-mate Yonny Hernandez - riding an Aprilia chassis - four places back, Laverty believes the in-house PBM machine has already demonstrated its potential.
"Unfortunately we ran out of time but in the end it felt good," Laverty said of his final afternoon run.
"I could push the chassis and that's the major bonus for a brand new bike which did it first laps in anger.
"We're only seven tenths of a second from what I did on the ART bike. I think the potential is there, the bike can be really good.
"It was getting better with every exit, but [while] we had to rush before the end we can go home positive."
Laverty said there was still work to be done incorporating the electronics, and predicted the performance still to be gained could be enough to allow him to change for top CRT honours.
"The chassis seems to chatter a bit less, that's one good bonus, and it possibly has a bit more acceleration grip.
"We just need to get the electronics working similarly to the ART package and then I think we'll take a big step forward.
"At the moment that's the biggest thing.
"I think we have a good package; for a brand new motorcycle it's coming good already.
"I think the potential is definitely there to challenge for top CRT honours this year."