“Maybe I won’t like MotoGP bike…” - Toprak Razgatlioglu ponders future

Toprak Razgatlioglu confirms his MotoGP test is upcoming but maintains his focus is on retaining his #1 plate in WorldSBK for Yamaha

Toprak Razgatlioglu - Pata Yamaha R1, 2022 WorldSBK

WorldSBK Champion Toprak Razgatlioglu maintains he remains far from making a firm decision about his racing future as the clock ticks down towards his much anticipated maiden MotoGP test.

Though the final details of his outing aboard the Yamaha M1 - which was first speculated back in October 2021 - Razgatlioglu told Visordown he expects it to take place at Aragon in June or July.

Though Razgatlioglu has just begun a new two-year deal with Yamaha, it is understood the test could prelude a tweak to his agreement to take him to MotoGP a year earlier than planned in 2023.

Regardless, Razgatlioglu insists he is giving little thought towards his future while he is attempting to cling onto the #1 plate achieved by clinching the 2021 WorldSBK Championship, adding there is no guarantee he will even enjoy testing the M1.

“I am focused on my career, my season because this is most important. For MotoGP, I am just riding the bike, if I like it, I don’t know - we will see. I am just focusing on my season because it is important to keep the #1.

“Maybe I won’t like the MotoGP bike and stay here. It is not my job, that is Yamaha’s job. I just ride the bike and try my best. We will see after the test.”

Where does Toprak Razgatlioglu factor into MotoGP market?

There is clearly momentum behind giving Razgatlioglu the opportunity to pursue a potential MotoGP career, but the recent seismic shift in the rider market would suggest the urgency of his graduation has cooled.

Indeed, there was already some friction around his location with manager Kenan Sofuoglu making it clear it was factory or nothing, and Lin Jarvis making it clearer that it would have to be satellite or nothing.

It has served to place a fair amount of emphasis on this test, which is a lot for the Turk to contend with if he is merely trying to getting a feel for whether his future lies on an M1 or an R1. Regardless, with Suzuki’s exit throwing Joan Mir and Alex Rins into the melting pot of options on a contracted MotoGP grid, Razgatlioglu looks less likely to be on the grid in 2023 now.

Razgatlioglu does have one bargaining chip in his favour though. While he is contracted to Yamaha - WorldSBK or MotoGP - for 2023, beyond that he is a free agent. So if he doesn’t end up in MotoGP for 2023, come 2024 he could well be a rider very much in demand… and the ball will be very much in Yamaha’s court.