Fernandez and Oliveira were split by just 0.006s as they finished fifth and sixth on a day where MotoGP champion Francesco Bagnaia led the way.

Bagnaia was the only rider to set a sub 1m 39s lap time, however, the performances from Fernandez and Oliveira’s were arguably just as impressive.

"I’m really happy about the work we did today," said Fernandez. "This morning was a bit complicated, but my team did an amazing job. They tried one solution for me, which worked out nice. 

"I could start to enjoy riding again and I’m very happy to end today in fifth. My pace was good and this is very important for us at the moment. 

"Now I have to continue to understand the bike even better, I’m not at 100% yet."

Maverick Vinales was the quickest Aprilia after finishing third, and while factory teammate Aleix Espargaro also showed speed despite arm pump issues, the RNF duo continue to look like real threats to them.

Fernandez, who after enduring a nightmare season with Tech 3 KTM, has openly admitted that the feelings inside Aprilia has helped him re-find his best form.

For Oliveira, the switch onto last season’s RS-GP22 has come at a time where he and the bike appear ready to challenge for podiums, something KTM are still seemingly not ready to do with the same level of consistency. 

Oliveira achieved his P6 finish despite not setting a time attack run, therefore leading us to believe that even more pace is yet to come.

"Today was a great day," added Oliveira. "I feel really good on the bike. We didn’t do any time attack, but we are still very competitive. 

"Therefore, I’m really looking forward to tomorrow. I’ll try to get even more speed out of the Aprilia RS-GP and try to get even more comfortable aboard the bike."