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Toprak Razgatlioglu MotoGP move hinges on factory Yamaha deal - Sofuoglu

Toprak Razgatlioglu will only switch to the MotoGP World Championship unless he is offered a factory Yamaha deal, according to Kenan Sofuoglu

Toprak Razgatlioglu, Kenan Sofuoglu - Yamaha


Kenan Sofuoglu says he has made it clear to Yamaha that he would only consider negotiations to take WorldSBK Champion Toprak Razgatlioglu to MotoGP in 2023 if he was offered a full factory seat.

This is despite MotoGP World Champion Fabio Quartararo’s Yamaha seat being potentially available for 2023 after Franco Morbidelli was tied into a two-year deal from 2022.

As it stands, the Turkish rider is signed to compete in WorldSBK with Yamaha for 2022 and 2023 - after turning down a 2022 MotoGP seat with Petronas SRT (nee RNF Racing) - but the rhetoric regarding a more immediate future in the premier class has stepped up in recent weeks.

As it stands, Razgatlioglu is due to test a Yamaha M1 for the first time in the coming weeks, potentially during one of the official pre-season outings in Sepang and at Mandalika, while he was quoted recently saying he could consider making the move earlier than planned in 2023.

However, while his manager Sofuoglu - a five-time WorldSSP Champion himself - confirms this could become the new plan, he makes it clear he isn’t prepared to compromise on Razgatlioglu’s future and has stated he will only agree a deal if it was for a factory ride, rather than with the satellite RNF Racing bike that he says has been offered ‘several times’.

“I've already talked to Yamaha about it, they have great interest in Toprak MotoGP in the future,” Sofuoglu told Speedweek. “But one thing is very clear: This is only possible if Toprak continues to win races in the 2022 Superbike World Championship. 

“When Yamaha makes us an offer for the factory team, we'll think about it. And only then. It's not that we dream of MotoGP, Yamaha knows that too. We won't be racing for a B team either, but only for the works team."

Even then, Sofuoglu says it wouldn’t be a foregone conclusion that Razgatlioglu heads to MotoGP even with the promise of a factory Yamaha deal. 

"Even if Yamaha offers us a place in the works team, I'm not sure," emphasized Sofuoglu, himself a five-time champion in the supersport category. “I will be very careful with Toprak's career. I don't want to make a mistake and thereby destroy his good feeling. 

“He's really enjoying racing at the moment, I don't want to ruin that. Razlan Razali has already asked us several times about the next season, but we are not interested. I made it clear to him that we would only consider the works team."

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