Based on pre-season lap times, Fernandez and RNF Aprilia appeared ready to contend for top ten results if not better during the opening few MotoGP races of this season.

And while that was the case for teammate Miguel Oliveira at his home round in Portimao last month, Fernandez has not quite matched the level of performance expected. 

After retiring from the season-opener, Fernandez could only manage 14th in what was a reduced field in Argentina due to injuries forcing Oliveira, Marc Marquez, Enea Bastianini, Joan Mir and Pol Espargaro out of action. 

"We had a difficult race Sunday in Argentina," said Fernandez. "All of us Aprilia riders together with our crews are working a lot to understand what was happening there. Anyway, I think COTA is a good track for me. 

"I really want to enjoy riding and that is the main target, plus trying to understand why we were slower in the race in Argentina. 

"Nevertheless, I think we did a step during the last weekend and in Texas, we aim to confirm this step."

For Oliveira, the Portuguese star has made the trip to COTA but will undergo a final medical check today to assess whether he is fit to compete.

After watching Fernandez and both factory Aprilia riders struggle in Argentina during conditions that Oliveira made his own last season when he won wet races in Mandalika and Buriram, the Italian manufacturer will be hoping for good news when it comes to Oliveira’s participation. 

Oliveira added: "It was a shame for me to have missed the Argentina GP, but I’m really looking forward to start again working with the team and discover the bike again on this track. 

"It has not been an easy track for me in the past, so I hope that this year I can start turning things around and start the weekend strong. 

"To score points in both the Sprint and the main Race would be really nice and of course important after not being able to do anything the last three opportunities basically. So, overall, I’m very excited."