Following an up-and-down relationship together, one which KTM confirmed would be ending after the current 2022 MotoGP season, Tech 3 rider Raul Fernandez is set to be announced at RNF Aprilia.
Fernandez, who recently came under fire from KTM CEO Stefan Peirer, has endured a disastrous rookie MotoGP season.
After reaching incredible heights as a Moto2 rookie in 2021 – Fernandez won more races than anyone as he narrowly missed out on the title to current Tech 3 KTM team-mate Remy Gardner – the Spanish rider has scored points on just two occasions this season.
Currently last of the full-time riders in the championship, Fernandez’s rookie season looked like one that could see him drop out of MotoGP and head back to Moto2.
But that appears unlikely as an announcement confirming Fernandez to the new RNF Aprilia team is thought to be imminent.
With his future now sorted, Fernandez took to his social media to thank KTM after spending several years in the Austrian brand’s ranks.
Fernandez said: “As you may already know, KTM and me will be separated at the end of the season. I am very grateful for all the help they have given me, as they have been part of my racing career since the Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup, when I started to be part of this family.
“In these years we had some beautiful moments and some difficult moments, but above all, years in which I have learned a lot.
“I just want to say that my heart will always be a portion orange because they have been a very important part of my life. Thank you KTM Factory Racing.”
Should Fernandez complete his expected switch to RNF Aprilia for 2023, then the KTM rider will become the latest rider after Joan Mir to find a new home.
The 2020 world champion has finally been confirmed as a Repsol Honda rider for the next two years. Mir will also form the only double world champion rider pairing on the grid next season as he joins Marc Marquez at the Japanese marque.
Other rider signings over the last week include Enea Bastianini being given the factory Lenovo Ducati seat over Jorge Martin, with the latter staying at Pramac for next year.