Stefan Bradl feels the pre-season winter tests at Sepang will enable the Aprilia team to hit the ground running as free practice for the Malaysian MotoGP gets underway on Friday.
Bradl struggled at Phillip Island on the RS-GP, finishing down the field in 21st, but underscored the potential of the Aprilia the previous weekend at Motegi after narrowly missing out on a place in Q2.
The German rider is confident he can find a similar level of performance this weekend as a run of three successive fly-away rounds conclude ahead of the finale at Valencia in Spain on November 8.
“Since being astride the Aprilia RS-GP the Phillip Island was the most complicated yet. The low temperature conditions probably penalised us, making us struggle more than usual,” Bradl said.
“In Malaysia we'll be facing completely different conditions and most importantly we'll already have some references to go by, so I'm confident that things will go better and that we'll be able to find some good solutions to achieve good performance.”
His team-mate, Alvaro Bautista, was a solid 14th in Australia and is also confident of finishing well inside the points on Sunday.
“We lapped here with the RS-GP during the winter tests, so we'll have some points of reference that mean we won't have to start from zero setting up the bike as we have on the other tracks,” he said.
“Sepang is a very demanding track; there are slow turns, fast turns and very demanding braking sections as well as the usual Malaysian heat.
“It will be a hard race, but I like this track a lot and I've always done well here, plus we are coming here with a lot of motivation after the good result at Phillip Island in terms of race performance,” he added.
“Malaysia is a chance to try to improve even more.”