While speculation has been rampant about Acosta moving up to MotoGP, it could come at a cost for rookie Fernandez who is beginning to make his mark in the premier class.

KTM are all-set with their factory line-up of Brad Binder and Jack Miller until at least the end of next season, the same goes for GASGAS Tech 3 rider Pol Espargaro who is also contracted until the end of 2024, which means Fernandez’s one-year deal that was signed for this season could see him lose out to Acosta. 

KTM won’t want to lose Fernandez, but with other manufacturers clipping at the heels of Acosta, they may not have any choice but to promote the young Spaniard. 

While Acosta would likely move into the GASGAS Tech3 team and therefore become one of Poncharal’s riders, the team owner is very happy with Fernandez and is angered by the speculation around his rider’s future.

Speaking to MotoGP.com, Poncharal said: "The saddest thing about all this is the questions the media sometimes ask him, like 'Aren't you afraid of having to give up your spot to Pedro (Acosta) next season?' or when I hear 'It doesn't matter; he's just waiting for Pedro to arrive.' 

"It annoys me because since the beginning of the year, he's been delivering great performances that often go unnoticed. 

"Some will say, 'Yes, he finished 10th because there were crashes'... It's true, but not only that! 

"Look, this weekend he made it to Q2, started with the seventh best absolute time of the race, and finished very close to the top three. His performance was clearly there."

Although Fernandez had shown strong race pace at times in the previous four rounds, Le Mans also saw a breakthrough in qualifying. 

Getting through to Q2 for the first time and out-qualifying the likes of Fabio Quartararo, Fernandez had by far the best weekend of his young MotoGP career, which ended with a fourth place in the Grand Prix. 

"Augusto had already impressed us on Saturday by avoiding Q1, something that hadn't happened to us in a long time," said Poncharal. "Still, he outdid Fabio Quartararo in front of his home crowd! 

"When we saw his time, honestly, we couldn't believe it. It was a moment of great joy and emotion. 

"I think such a performance was a significant morale boost for him. People started seeing him as a rider and not just as a stand-in. 

"Unfortunately, perhaps aiming too high, he crashed in the Tissot Sprint and again in Warm Up, which forced him to start with his second bike. 

"Honestly, we didn't know what to expect, so in doubt, we went with the soft front tyre. It was a risk considering the heat and the 27 laps to cover. But he had to regain confidence."