Toprak Razgatlioglu brought his first Superbike World Championship back to Yamaha in more than ten years, taking the title after a long battle with Jonathan Rea, which only ended in the last round in Indonesia. Although the Turk has a contract with the Iwata manufacturer in the production derivatives until the end of 2023, he has never ruled out a move to MotoGP, as also stated in a post published on social media last January.
In addition, he will have to carry out a test on an M1 organized for him and scheduled for June. Yamaha MotoGP chief Lin Jarvis has revealed that this test will represent not only a prize, but also an evaluation in terms of the contract to offer him a saddle in 2023. A possible move to MotoGP would lead him to the RNF satellite team, which served as training. for both Fabio Quartararo and Franco Morbidelli, both promoted to the official team.
Six-time Superbike World Champion Jonathan Rea has followed Razgatlioglu’s growth from the very beginning, when the Turk was part of the Kawasaki orbit. The two were also teammates on the team that participated in and won the Suzuka 8 Hours in 2019, before Toprak signed with Yamaha for the following year. Although the two fought hard for the title in 2021 and engaged in duels even with words off the track, Rea says he would love to see Razgatlioglu have his chance to show his speed in MotoGP next year.
“I hope he can go to MotoGP, he is one of the guys who are making progress and he is competitive. I think he can show that there is a stepping stone from Superbike to MotoGP, ”Rea, who has raced in MotoGP on two occasions with Honda, but has never had the opportunity to have a saddle, told Motorsport.com. official. “Unfortunately I never got the chance. There is nothing wrong with being in Superbike, I have had a wonderful career here. But personally, last year at Magny-Cours there were rumors that if Toprak won the title he would go to MotoGP ”.
Toprak Razgatlioglu, Pata Yamaha WorldSBK, Jonathan Rea, Kawasaki Racing Team WSBK
Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images
“I like Toprak, he’s one of my toughest rivals on the track, but he’s also a great person. I told him ‘if you get the chance, he learns from my experience and go’. He will do a great job, many riders in this paddock have great talent and have managed to do good things. So I told him to go if he gets the chance, even if it was a private team. If he has the right people around him who believe in him and give him time, he can be really cool. I hope Toprak and his manager have the right strategy. I’m one of his biggest rivals, but if he went there and did a great job, he’d make Superbike great too. “
Razgatlioglu and Yamaha have not yet won a race this season in the Superbike World Championship, in the challenge that sees Rea and Kawasaki determined to take back the crown and Alvaro Bautista in great shape upon his return to Ducati. The reigning world champion has already accumulated 51 points behind the leader Bautista and 35 from the second, Rea, after the first nine races (three rounds) of the year.
However, speaking ahead of the third round of the season at Estoril, Rea stated that it would be wrong to cut Razgatlioglu out, noting that he does not believe he is running below his potential: “From my experience, I understand that number 1 is heavy. It is a difficult number to have on your bike. I was able to forget him, as well as to forget the voices he carried with him. But he is one of the youngest riders, with a lot of expectation about his future. I don’t see him weak this year. He hasn’t won yet, but I don’t think he’s not racing at the top. Bautista is doing well and obviously has improved this year. I see him as usual, when he is on the track he is more at the limit than last year. But even in 2021 when he won, he always did it to the limit “.