Toprak Razgatlioglu commits to Yamaha in WorldSBK amid MotoGP interest

Four-time race winner Toprak Razgatlioglu turns down MotoGP in favour of two more years in the WorldSBK Championship with Yamaha Racing

Toprak Razgatlioglu - Pata Yamaha WorldSBK

Toprak Razgatlioglu will compete with Yamaha in the WorldSBK Championship for the next two seasons after signing a contract extension for 2022 and 2023 despite apparent serious interest to go to MotoGP.

The Turkish rider, a former protege of Kawasaki, joined Yamaha at the start of the 2020 WorldSBK Championship and went on to score three victories en route to fourth in the overall standings. He is currently leading the chase to Jonathan Rea in the standings after landing his first win of the season in Misano last time out.

The two year contract extension comes despite a keenness at Yamaha to promote him to a Petronas SRT MotoGP seat that is understood to have led to a formal offer.

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However, as Razgatlioglu intimates, he says he will consider MotoGP in future once he has landed the WorldSBK title.

“Yamaha has become like my family and I’m really happy to be signing for another two years. I think we’ve improved the bike a lot since I joined for the 2020 season, so it was an easy decision for me to make. 

“We are fighting for the Championship this year, we’re very close to the top and I have the best people around me in the Pata Yamaha with BRIXX team pit box to help me achieve my goals. I like the WorldSBK paddock, and I’m happy racing here. 

“Maybe MotoGP™ is something I will think about in the future, but for now I am focused completely on getting the job done here in WorldSBK. Thank you to everyone who has worked to make this happen and now I look forward to the future together with Yamaha.”

With Razgatlioglu reportedly turning down a Petronas SRT Yamaha ride, it could strengthen any bid from fellow Yamaha WorldSBK rider Garrett Gerloff, who raced with the team at the Dutch TT last weekend. Moto2 racer Raul Fernandez is also thought to be in contention for the seat that would be vacated by Franco  Morbidelli should he join the Yamaha Factory Racing team in place of the departing Maverick Vinales.