Set for his first outing on the RNF Aprilia this year, Miguel Oliveira is one of the riders to watch at this weekend’s official pre-season test in Sepang following a strong debut with Aprilia at Valencia last November. 

Oliveira finished the one-day Valencia test in fourth place, behind Vinales and Mooney VR46 pair Luca Marini and Marco Bezzecchi.

While an impressive showing, Oliveira is now focused on getting another three days of testing under his belt in order to confirm the level of performance shown at Valencia. 

Talking about his first time aboard the Aprilia, Oliveira added: "I mean it was for sure, a different bike, different philosophy of handling for sure. The chassis was something that popped up that was really nice to ride. I don't quite remember much more.

"It was just the first day, everything was uncomfortable. Everything was strange. So, I guess after these three days we'll get more of a better idea I would say."

With regards to what package he expects to be on throughout the year, Oliveira has confirmed that the same 2022-spec bike that was used by Espargaro and Vinales will be his machine for the season, although he’s unsure whether the bike will change drastically through 2023 part being added or not. 

Oliveira said: "I mean, I cannot really tell you that this will be the bike for the whole season. I don't know for sure. 

"Aprilia needs to test the 2023 material and validate it with the factory riders and for sure if it's something really good - it's Aprilia who will decide what material they would give. But not me. I have no idea for the moment. What I know is that I will ride with the 2022-spec. 

Making a MotoGP bike ‘meet’ your style is crucial - Oliveira

Changing manufacturers has rarely been an easy task, just ask Jorge Lorenzo, Valentino Rossi and others who struggled to make the adaptation to different machines, however, it’s also worked out very well for some such as Casey Stoner, which Oliveira will be hoping is the case.

After claiming five premier class wins with KTM - two in the Tech 3 team and two with the factory outfit - Oliveira has the experience needed to help RNF progress up the grid, although it could take time as 28-year-old knows that merging his style to the bike’s, and vice-versa will be key to their success.

Oliveira stated: "I mean, I think the most easiest thing is to ride how you know, and see what the bike accepts and what do you need to change and what can the bike change for you? 

"So you need to come try to meet the bike and make the bike meet you. Kind of, Valencia was just me meeting the bike. So now here I think we'll have more, more track time and try to, you know, merge."