While Espargaro has taken the RS-GP to five podiums, including a first MotoGP victory, this season, it is also the Spaniard’s sixth year with the Italian team.

Meanwhile Vinales only joined the project one year ago, meaning his progression has been closely watched by Oliveira and Fernandez as they weighed up their future plans.

After racing inline-four powered machines for Suzuki and then Yamaha from 2015 until midway through 2021, Vinales now has 18 races (effectively one whole season) under his belt on the V4-powered Aprilia.

Although compromised by his qualifying form, Vinales has steadily closed the gap to Espargaro, culminating in back-to-back podiums at Assen and Silverstone.

“It's very hard to analyse from the outside,” Oliveira said. “But I think looking at Vinales really helped me to understand more the potential of the [Aprilia] because Aleix has spent so many years there and he knows it perfectly.

“But Vinales coming from his entire career in MotoGP with inline engines, that really made it quite interesting when he jumped on the bike, to perform already in a very good level.

“So that maybe convinced me more than probably Aleix’s results.

“Let's see how we fit, of course every move is based on a little bit of faith and hope that it will work out.”

Fernandez, currently entering the final third of what has so far been a tough rookie season at Tech3 KTM, added:

“I think like Miguel said, Aleix has many, many, years with that bike, so I see more the Maverick Vinales season as quite interesting - how he evolved on the bike, his feeling and the results.

“I think this is more important. Aleix did an amazing year, but I [looked] more at how Maverick has managed the situation.”

Oliveira, a four-time MotoGP winner for KTM, added that timing in terms of his career and the warmth shown by Aprilia Racing CEO Massimo Rivola also helped clinch the deal.

“For sure the timing was one big, big factor,” he said. “I felt I could have the chance to maybe try another machine and a very competitive one. So that made me really think and be tempted to accept this offer.

“Also I felt a very, very warm welcome by Massimo. Massimo really maybe added the extra ingredient to convince me.

“But it's for sure a great pleasure to be involved in the next two years in a different project and in a bike that already proved that can be very consistent through every weekend and every racetrack.”

Oliveira ‘grateful’ to KTM for GASGAS offer

While Oliveira looked destined to join RNF Aprilia for months, KTM then made a renewed last-minute bid to tempt him to join the rebranded GASGAS Tech3 team.

“The intention of KTM keeping me in the project was there since even they announce Jack [Miller] for the factory seat,” Oliveira said. “At that time there was no idea on how the team would be called GASGAS or Tech3. So at that moment my decision was quite clear.

“Throughout the process, of course, I was given the green light to look for other seats, and I did. And during this time there was no further developments with KTM until the Spielberg weekend where they made the last offer and the last push to keep me.”

Although Oliveira ultimately turned down the rumoured three-year deal, he appreciated the effort put in to try and keep him.

“After seven years of relationship we don't want to end things in an abrupt way or without giving a fight I think,” Oliveira said. “The late efforts that KTM made to keep me within the family was super fair.

“I'm very proud of the relationship we built throughout these years. We were always very transparent in these negotiations, giving feedback to them and from their side also they were every time very transparent [with me].

“So I'm really pleased and really proud that we have built this strong relationship. And the world is round, you never know the next day so… Everything will remain in a good relationship [between us].

“I have nothing else to add but appreciation and very grateful for their effort.”