Since leaving Tech 3 KTM following a dismal rookie season in MotoGP, Fernandez has looked reborn with RNF Aprilia, both on and off-track. 

Fernandez was a constant presence inside the top 15 positions throughout the three day test, with a best finish of sixth taking place on day two. 

But while his level of performance has picked up since jumping aboard the Aprilia, it’s Fernandez’s demanor which has greatly changed since last season.

"I came back to my normal training but I enjoyed that," said Fernandez when asked if anything about his off-season preparation had changed. "When I came here [Sepang] I said - ‘I’m happy with my life’ - I will be happy on a MotoGP bike also. 

"The team helped me a lot and they made me very calm in all the difficult moments. It looks always easy but sometimes our mind as a rider is complicated. For that, I think I have a really nice team and they give me the support necessary."

Fernandez also heaped praise on both Razlan Razali (RNF Aprilia Team Owner) and Wilco Zeelenberg (Team Manager) for the impact they’ve had since his move to Aprilia.

The former Moto2 runner-up said: "From the bike I don’t know [what is the best attribute]. But I know that it’s a big family and this is amazing. Not just with Aprilia but my team with Razlan [Razali] and Wilco [Zeelenberg]. They did a fantastic job with us, with the rider, I mean. 

"They support us like a factory rider even though I was never a factory rider. I feel that Aprilia supports me like a factory rider. They give me the confidence to go fast."

Fernandez impressed by race pace at Sepang MotoGP test

While it was his time attack runs which saw him challenge for a top ten finish on day three, the performance shown over longer runs is what pleased Fernandez the most, even if he was quick to point out that Sepang is not representative of the circuits that will follow.

Fernandez added: "Was a very nice test for me. I worked a lot on myself like I said before. It was important to work on myself but it was a nice surprise to have the time that I have. 

"Especially the [race] pace, it was so good. I’m really happy but Sepang is not easy and it’s not a reference for the championship. 

"It is true day-by-day that MotoGP is getting closer. It’s true that I saw 21 riders within a second which is amazing. But I’m really happy from my side and Aprilia did a great job with the bike. 

"They worked like animals during this winter. From Valencia to here I changed a lot my mind and you can see in the results."