In a proverbial day of two halves a double WorldSBK champion shone as brightly as the Malaysian morning sun to lead the field of 22 riders on the time sheets, the only one that would count, at least.
Max Biaggi (Aprilia Racing Team) once more had the advantage of testing a few days before the rest of the WSB field showed up for a race but at the tenth round he once again showed his skill and class to keep double Laguna Seca race winner Chaz Davies (Aruba.it Racing - Ducati WSB) in second place by 0.149 seconds in the dry opening session.
A wet but drying track in the second session ensured that nobody would improve on their morning times, meaning Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team) was third fastest overall, with his team-mate Tom Sykes one place behind.
Leon Haslam (Aprilia Racing Team - Red Devils) placed fifth despite carrying a left shoulder injury with him from the previous round at Laguna Seca, while Jordi Torres (Aprilia Racing Team - Red Devils) went sixth.
Alex Lowes (Voltcom Crescent Suzuki) was realistic about being seventh, as his team-mate Randy De Puniet (Voltcom Crescent Suzuki) was eighth.
The two-by-two WSB rider and team formations continued in the first dry session of the weekend, with Sylvain Guintoli (Pata Honda WSB) and Michael van der Mark (Pata Honda WSB) completing the top ten in ninth and tenth places respectively on their Hondas.
The first BMW in the rankings belonged to Ayrton Badovini (BMW Motorrad Italia SBK Team) in 11th place and the lone MV of Leon Camier (MV Agusta Reparto Corse) was 16th.
In the afternoon damp conditions, drying towards the end, Davies was fastest, Lowes second, Haslam third and Leandro Mercado (Barni Racing Team Ducati) fourth.