After both switching from KTM, Fernandez and Oliveira will make their official Aprilia debuts this weekend at the 2023 MotoGP season-opener at Portimao.

While factory riders Aleix Espargaro and Maverick Vinales have been strong in pre-season testing, something that was expected after the RS-GP22 became a force last season, the all-new line-up of Fernandez and Oliveira have been clipping away at their heels during tests in Sepang and Portimao.

Despite being on the 2022 machine as opposed to the new RS-GP23, Fernandez and Oliveira have looked like two of the most in-from riders heading into the new season, and two riders that could be in the mix for a top five in Portimao.

Oliveira will have designs on being strong in Portimao as it's his home round and the venue he won at in 2020, while Fernandez is aboard a bike that seems to be allowing him to flourish compared to last season’s Tech 3 KTM machine.

Hoping to put forward his best season ever as a MotoGP rider, Oliveira said: "I really like the new livery! The colours are different and unique, so it’s nice to be out on track like that. I can’t wait for the first round at my home circuit representing the CryptoDATA RNF MotoGP Team aboard my Aprilia RS-GP! 

"In 2023, I’m facing a new challenge, so I hope we can get along quite well and we can achieve the goals that we set together during this season. 

"The bike has a lot of potential and I’m sure that now together with the team, we can adapt everything further to my riding and start to be fast in order to be competitive."

Fernandez has ‘fresh mind’ ahead of first MotoGP season with Aprilia

After moving up to the premier class with KTM, despite wanting a move to the Razlan Razali-owned team when it was branded as WithU RNF Yamaha, Fernandez has re-found the smile that we saw on many occasions when he stunned the Grand Prix paddock in his rookie Moto2 campaign. 

Speaking alongside Oliveira at the team’s official launch, the former Moto2 runner-up added: "It’s definitely different! I like it, especially the blue part. I arrived in the CryptoDATA RNF MotoGP Team with a completely fresh mind. 

"Everything is new, not just the colours and I’m very happy to come here and try to enjoy myself again on the bike. 

"My principal goal this year is to come back with a bright smile on my face. I’m really happy to be part of the CryptoDATA RNF MotoGP Team, because I think I have the best opportunities here. 

"We have a nice bike with the Aprilia RS-GP. They did a great job, I’m really happy. We did a good job in Sepang and Portimao and now I’m really enthusiastic to start the season."