SBK, Honda considers Toprak Razgatlıoğlu for its 2020 team

MARKET The Turkish rider, mentored by Sofuoglu and having already scored five podiums this year, is convincing the Japanese with his results 


Honda, despite having made something of a muted return to World Superbike this year, has big plans.

During the summer break, the Japanese manufacturer will likely decide on its 2020 teams and, with the arrival of a new bike, it has every intention of entrusting this machine to a rider capable of winning right off the bat.

The first name heard in the paddock was that of Alvaro Bautista of course and, despite his stock being down right now following three consecutive mistakes that have cost him the championship lead, there are those in Borgo Panigale who fear the Spaniard is tempted.

In reality, Honda's attention is currently focused on 23-year old Turk Toprak Razgatlıoğlu, who currently rides the Kawasaki for team Puccetti.

Mentored by Kenan Sofuoglu, the young rider scored third in race 1 at Imola before doing it again in race 2 at Jerez. He then improved to score a second-place finish at Misano followed by two seconds at Donington in the Superpole race and race 2.
Not bad for a rider who only scored his first podium at Donington in 2018.

Toprak seems like a laidback kind of guy: having come down from the podium at Imola, he had just a few words to say about his result, preferring to get into a long and incomprehensible phone conversation with Sofuoglu, the youngester having used his mentor's race number - 54 - since 2013. Two years before he won the Superstock 600 title.

One sign that Honda is pushing to secure a first rider for next season, and that the current pairing has little change of continuing its adventure, is the latest delay to Leon Camier's return to the track, he too kept in the dark about the new project.

The only ones who perhaps have information about the new bike are the Pirelli guys, Honda having asked them for support for its test sessions, conducted far from prying eyes.


Translated by Heather Watson

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