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Razgatlioglu to split with Yamaha after 2023 World Superbike season

Toprak Razgatlioglu will part ways with Yamaha at the end of the 2023 World Superbike Championship, ending any hopes of a move to MotoGP with the marque in 2024.

Toprak Razgatlioglu, Pata Yamaha WorldSBK

Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

Razgatlioglu has been a mainstay on the WSBK grid since his debut in 2018 with the Kawasaki-backed Puccetti squad, with which he took his first wins in the series in 2019.

For 2020, Razgatlioglu moved to Yamaha and ended its title drought dating back to Ben Spies in 2009 when he clinched the championship by 13 points from WSBK dominator Jonathan Rea.

Runner-up in 2022, Razgatlioglu currently sits second in 2023 but is already 69 points behind Ducati’s Alvaro Bautista – who has won all but one race so far this season, with the other taken by Razgatlioglu.

In April, Razgatlioglu tested a Yamaha MotoGP bike at Jerez in an outing attended by the team’s top brass, with the 26-year-old linked to a move to the series in 2024.

Yamaha team boss Lin Jarvis played this down when asked about it at the Americas GP, noting that the Japanese marque is unlikely to have a satellite squad again next year and will need an experienced hand in its factory outfit should Franco Morbidelli be moved on.

In a team statement Razgatlioglu says “there was an opportunity to go to MotoGP” next year, but he “didn’t feel the same connection with the MotoGP bike” that he does with a Superbike.

As such, his Yamaha split looks like it has shut the door on a MotoGP move in 2024.

Toprak Razgatlioglu, Pata Yamaha WorldSBK

Toprak Razgatlioglu, Pata Yamaha WorldSBK

Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

“I want to say to the whole Yamaha family a very big thank you for the love and respect they have shown me,” he said.

“To win the world championship was my dream when I signed with Yamaha, and we reached that goal together.

“For next season I feel I need a new challenge and while there was an opportunity in MotoGP, I didn’t feel the same connection with the MotoGP bike that I have with the superbike.

“But if I am to stay in WorldSBK then I need a new target, a new ambition. I am sorry to leave Yamaha, both the brand and the people, as we have a very good relationship, but change is part of any sport and normal for any professional.

“So, a big thank you to Yamaha Motor Company, Yamaha Motor Europe, Yamaha Motor Turkiye, the Pata Yamaha Prometeon WorldSBK Team and especially to my crew, who have all worked so hard for me.”

Razgatlioglu’s two-day test at Jerez in April ended with him just under a second behind Yamaha test rider Cal Crutchlow, which already put some doubt on the Turk making the switch in 2024.

Yamaha has already set out a timeline for Morbidelli to save his seat with the team in MotoGP, with Jarvis wanting a decision made by the summer break at the end of June.

Morbidelli, who sits 13th in the standings on 40 points having managed a best result of fourth in 2023 so far, told Motorsport.com during the French Grand Prix that he felt “trust” from Yamaha about his future.

Current Pramac Ducati rider Jorge Martin has been linked to his factory Yamaha seat, with the Spaniard’s current contract stating he can leave Ducati a year early if he is offered a factory team deal.

Razgatlioglu’s destination in WSBK is unclear at this stage.

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