ROMANO ALBESIANO - APRILIA RACING MANAGER
"During the winter break, we were able to make tangible progress, meeting the needs expressed specifically by Aleix in the 2016 tests. We are in a different position than we were 12 months ago when the new bike made its début. Now we know that we have a good base on which to work. Sepang will be our first chance to check on what has been analysed and designed over the past months. The evolution of the RS-GP involved all aspects, both to adapt it to the new riders and to comply with the new technical regulations. As for the engine, we found some more torque at lower rpms, but without losing anything in terms of maximum power. Then we optimised all the components in terms of weight, stiffness and overall balance. There is a lot of news, so it will be essential to take full advantage of all the time we have on the track."
FAUSTO GRESINI - TEAM MANAGER
“As always, the first tests of the year in Malaysia give us the chance to see where we stand compared with our rivals. We are very enthusiastic to start the season because we know that Aprilia worked very hard during the winter and has various changes in store. In the November tests, Aleix gave us some good information straight away and development of the 2017 bike was based on that. In Sepang we will conduct several comparative tests with the 2016 RS-GP to better direct development. Sam, on the other hand, will continue his apprenticeship and the primary objective will be do a lot of kilometres, initially mainly on the 2016 bike. Compared with a year ago, we are starting with a more tried and true package, as well as more experience on the RS-GP, so we are quite confident!”