After stealing the World Superbike crown away from Jonathan Rea in spectacular style last year, Toprak Razgatlioglu has been a name on the lips of many inside the MotoGP™ paddock. The Turk then stoked rumours further in January of this year by posting a not-so-cryptic tweet saying “why not” to the possibility of switching paddocks in 2023.
Monster Energy Yamaha team boss Maio Meregalli then confirmed at the Sepang Test that the 25-year-old would get his first chance on a Yamaha M1 in June of this year. Now, whilst speaking to Lewis Duncan of motorsport.com, Yamaha boss Lin Jarvis has outlined the Iwata factory’s plans for the World Superbike King even further.
“I would say it’s a little bit of both,” started Jarvis, when asked if the test is a reward for his 2021 success or an opportunity to evaluate a premier class move for 2023. “Because obviously winning the championship was a great feat he did last year, first time for us [Yamaha] since 2009. So, that was an important thing, we really appreciate and respect that. So, to try the M1, we had an idea for him to try it a lot earlier than we finally will.
“Things didn’t work out because our championship ran late, his ran late. There were many reasons why it didn’t happen earlier. Finally, that first concept has transitioned and changed into a different concept now because for sure it’s one of the considerations for him to switch to MotoGP.
Yamaha boss confirms Toprak Razgatlıoğlu YZR-M1 test plans
“What we’ve said to him is anyway if you’re going to make the switch, do it sooner rather than later because he’s going to be 26 this year. So, if he’s going to come to MotoGP he should do it soon. So, what better than to do a serious test on the M1?
“We have a test planned for him in June and we will dedicate a team to him and we will spend an entire day testing with him. It will be the first chance to see and feel how he can perform on that bike. I also believe he can be definitely a capable rider in the MotoGP class.”
Razgatlioglu’s personal manager, Kenan Sofuoglu, has previously stated the Turk wouldn’t consider a MotoGP™ move unless it was to a factory team. However, with Franco Morbidelli set for another year in his seat, and with Yamaha closing in a contract extension for reigning World Champion Fabio Quartararo, Razgatlioglu’s only option within Yamaha would appear to be a move to their satellite team. It’s a conundrum put to Jarvis in the second half of motorsport.com’s interview, which you can read by clicking here.
That begs the question will we see Razgatlioglu in MotoGP™ in 2023? The next piece to the puzzle will be put into place in June with motogp.com keeping you fully updated on how the talented Turk gets on.