Toprak Razgatlioglu Has First Test On A MotoGP Bike - But Will He Stay In WorldSBK?

Toprak Razgatlioglu has completed his first laps on a MotoGP bike. At the Motorland Aragon circuit, the Pata Yamaha rider and reigning WorldSBK champion had 40 laps on the Yamaha M1 MotoGP machine, accompanying Yamaha test rider Cal Crutchlow at a private test.

When the test was first announced, it seemed like this may be a dress rehearsal for a full-time switch to MotoGP for the Turkish rider. But Razgatlioglu has been equivocal about a move to MotoGP. He has made it clear that he is very happy in WorldSBK, and was only willing to come to MotoGP if the circumstances were right.

Any chance of a move became much more difficult when RNF decided to switch from Yamaha to Aprilia for the 2023 MotoGP season and beyond. With only two Yamahas on the grid, and both Franco Morbidelli and Fabio Quartararo under contract to the factory squad for 2023, Razgatlioglu's first chance to move would be in 2024. That would give him time to have another test on the MotoGP bike, should he want it.

That may well be necessary. 40 laps and half a day is not really enough to understand the differences between a Michelin-shod MotoGP machine and a WorldSBK Yamaha on Pirellis. As Razgatlioglu is quoted as saying in the press release, the two bikes are very different, requiring a totally different approach to braking, accelerating, turning, and riding the bike generally. The next hint at Razgatlioglu's future will come if he and his manager, Kenan Sofuoglu, ask Yamaha for another test, and Yamaha offer him that opportunity.

Press release from Yamaha below:


Razgatlıoğlu Enjoys “Very Positive” Maiden Outing on Yamaha YZR-M1 at Aragón

Reigning FIM Superbike World Champion Toprak Razgatlıoğlu completed his first-ever outing on the Yamaha YZR-M1 during a one-day private MotoGP test at the MotorLand Aragón circuit today.

After taking his first WorldSBK victory of the 2022 campaign at Misano, the Turkish rider switched from his Yamaha R1 to the YZR-M1, riding 40 laps of the Teruel venue in sweltering conditions. The long straight between Turns 15 and 16, together with a combination of fast turns and slower sections around the 5.078 km MotorLand Aragón circuit, allowed Razgatlıoğlu to experience all aspects of the Yamaha YZR-M1’s performance.

The 25-year-old began the day with a 12-lap run to build up an understanding of the bike and the Michelin tyres, completing shorter runs thereafter, as the Yamaha MotoGP Test Team made set-up adjustments to the bike based on Razgatlıoğlu’s feedback and analysis of the data.

On hand to help Razgatlıoğlu gain confidence and speed on the Yamaha YZR-M1 was Yamaha MotoGP Test Rider Cal Crutchlow, whose lap times the 2021 WorldSBK champion used as a benchmark during the test.

Unfortunately, the test was cut short due to a heavy rain shower ahead of the late afternoon session, which didn’t allow Razgatlıoğlu the chance to further improve on his promising early pace.

Toprak Razgatlıoğlu

“This was my first day on the Yamaha M1 MotoGP bike and it felt completely different to my R1. More horsepower, different electronics, seamless gearbox, all of which is completely new for me. With every lap I learned more, because after the world superbike it’s not so easy to adapt to the MotoGP machine. Fortunately, I had Cal Crutchlow on hand to offer advice and he was able to help me a lot. The bike feels good, especially on the straight where it’s very fast, and it was interesting to experience the carbon brakes. The conditions were really hot today, so we stuck to doing five or six lap runs only after the initial run of 12 laps to get a first feeling for the bike. When I watch the MotoGP bikes on television here at Aragon you can see it is a bit bumpy, and I can feel it here today. It’s not so bad, you have to keep the gas open to ride through the bumps, because if you close then it becomes more unstable. Overall, a very positive test, even if it was cut short by rain this afternoon, which meant I didn’t get quite as many laps in as I’d have liked. I really enjoyed riding the MotoGP bike, so many thanks to Yamaha for allowing me this opportunity.”

Source: 

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Comments

Some silly dominoes are falling. It is interesting! What do folks think of these? Apparently Oliveira has just gone Aquaprilia, and Rins is going LCR. DiGi re-signing at Gresini. (We all await the Mir-Honda announcement still). 

Huh!

Renewed appreciation of Toprak via the deep interview/chat w Paul Denning (link two articles ago). He IS impressive. I can't place a bet either way on Toprak staying or coming here, just too many damn variables. I would like to see it.

Addendum, next pieces to put in place - Alex Marquez, Darryn Binder and R. Gripey Entitled Fernandez. They are floating about. For now assuming that Dovi is starting something different away from GP racing. Did I miss someone at Ducati? I am thinking it looks like they keep every rider but Jack, shuffling them about a bit. As folks have said, having great kit but not in Red isn't so bad these days. Maybe appealing even! Gone are the customer mid pack doldrums. 

Again, wishing Remy could get a non Orange seat rather than Raul. Strange things have been afoot at KTM. 

Mir and Honda must be having a stand off re money numbers. He is going there though. 

Hope now turns to better KTM and Honda bikes, perhaps in part via a new Michelin front?

Lazy, maybe ... but I can't locate that bit. Can you re=post it? Thanks. Got a lot of respect for what I know of Paul Denning, he's been around a long while ... been there, done that.

GREAT video!

Thanks for that link, shrink!

What struck me most:

Toprak is "ruining" the bike, unlike any other rider, just bc of his (aggressive) ridingstyle!?! If I got that right, PD implied that Toprak "bent the frame" in Misano FP1, bc he was riding too aggressively!?

And regarding "what's it worth": he admits that the only the parts for the bike sum up to 150k. Isn't there a price-cap of 40k in place in WSBK (at least for the homologated stock-bike)? So the actual racebike doesn't have much in common with the stock-machine. How much sense does the price cap then make, if any?

Toprak absolutely ruins bikes, like no other rider. Yamaha needs to provide the guy a more durable bike that can withstand the punishment he dishes out. Maybe that's the M1. 

If both Rins and Mir have gone to Honda then unless there is a fundamental shift in the space time continuum then I expect them both to fizzle out, hopefully without too many ruinous injuries.  Rins on a Honda is particularly disappointing, he needed to get onto an Aprilia, Mir on a Ducati.  IMHO.

I'm still not sure about Mir, lots of respect but he still only has ONE race win.  Okay, two if you consider he was nailed on to win Austria in 2020.  He can be consistent, and he seems to be mentally solid, but end of the day there's lots of 'not quite's'.

Rins is really Schwantz reborn, able to do things that defy belief both brilliantly and otherwise.  His win at Silverstone against Marquez was awesome, bear in mind he won the race twice because he did the opposite mistake of Aliex - thinking the penultimate lap was the last - putting an implausible last-corner pass around the outside one lap and the inside the next.  But if anyone does not suit the Honda, I reckon it is him.

Hope I'm very wrong.

Re: Toprak, if Yam brings some power next year and he can transition into the factory team and a good bike in '24 I think it would be quite special.  I rate him.

I'd like to see Toprak in MotoGP, but not at the expense of his WSBK career. Yamaha already have a number 1 in MotoGP, and they don't have a satellite team anymore. It would be nice if Yamaha would let Toprak wildcard several times a season, and maybe give him some offseason testing gigs to raise his profile. 

However, I'd prefer not to see another world class talent languish in the political morass of MotoGP. I'd rather see several talented riders in MotoGP make the jump to WSBK so they can make an impact. 

The odd wildcard these days would produce outwardly looking mediocre performances. To jump on the bike mid season as a wildcard and not finish last might actually be a very good performance but to the wider world it just says...ahh not as good as we thought. To have a chance he would need some commitment, two year deal. If he wants it, then the paddock doesn't end at Yamaha.

True, wildcard performances will likely achieve mediocre results, and would not really be a launching pad for a MotoGP career. I was merely mentioning wild card rides as a way to keep one of Toprak's feet in MotoGP, should Yamaha lose Quartararo or should they gain another WSBK talent and Toprak can move on to a new challenge. 

To me, it would be better for Toprak to have some familiarity with the M1 and the Michelin tires should Yamaha need to call him up, regardless of how it affects Toprak's public persona. However, this is a matter for them to determine. I'm ambivalent, but I'm also weary of seeing so many talented riders throw their prime years away in MotoGP.

Very true. In my opinion, depending on the outcome of any test and especially depending on the feeling of Toprak, he may be very suited to a full season on a year old sat bike (obviously not available currently). He would start the season with a boot load of data for that bike, he would be on an 'old' bike which would hand him an instant excuse for any lack of performance, any good performance would be treated to a 'performance multiplier' because he managed it on an 'old' bike and it would remove the added work load or stress of trying to get the best from a new, relatively unknown package. He would need some luck with the timing and not have a year old bike which is the wrong side of a step change in performance. I'd love to see him in MotoGP and would love to see him do really well. He's Yamaha at the moment but why not another bike ?

^ I don't know Holcomb, he may be showing something special! And, career trajectory points up from here.

I could see him thrive on the next iteration of the M1 challenging Quarty. Every single time a brilliant WSBK rider doesn't make the switch soon enough we keep saying "what if." Like Rea. Toprak is Rea level. 

Spies was really special. His Blue GP experience was painful and odd. "Cursed" was tossed around. 

 

Shrink are you headed to motoA at the Ridge this weekend? As I recall you live out this way. I think I'm going to Saturday and Sunday. Haven't been out there since my old racing days, they've made many changes to the track since then including a chicane on the main staright I hear. I am curious to see how Petrucci does out there, plenty of interesting elements to that track.

I have had lots going on starting Summer and can't make this one but would like to. Enjoy the heck out of it, and sincere thanks for reaching out! Motomutterer meetups always eagerly encouraged.

I'd really still like to know what derailed Ben Spies.

I've never been a fan of Lin Jarvis, though I do rate him as slightly more likeable than Alberto Puig.

cmf, for years I was seeking to understand the Spies - Yamaha crap. I got somewhere and wrote about it here. I may be able to do a search and find it again. 

In very brief, he brought his Superbike crew chief Tom Houseworth with him. They had a very small encampment within the program, they were forceful and demanding/ridgid with Yamaha - in isolation, extrapolating from Superbike experience. When it started going bad, they brought in an old American Superbikes data engineer too against Blue's wishes and doubled down on the problematic structural problems. "You MUST give Ben the bike and set up that he wants!" Ben's mother was his manager, and she was overly involved in odd ways too. 

That plus some bad luck, but the bad luck can be seen as related (why did they race with a cracked swingarm?!).

and thats a good thing. I think Toprak is the real deal, talent is not in question. Rea is fast and a real champion, I wouldn't disparage the WSBK grid too much. The risk is always in the chassis and tire switch. From the chassis side it would seem he could do with something stiffer. That leaves the tires and a grid spot. If he could move his crew to a satelite Duc on current spec he'd have a good opportunity to lay down some Michelin rubber on the way to the top step. He'd know pretty quick if the switch from Perelli was something he could adapt to. 

Meanwhile I suppose the world awaits Pedro Acosta who will not face such discrimintation coming from moto2. Hope he heals up quickly. Seems to me the WSBK grid could use some current motoGP riders to make way for talent that have serious potential at titles.