Niccolò Canepa was a guest of our Live show after the tests for the Suzuka 8 Hours, during which the YART Team proved to be exceptional. With Canepa we have dealt with many subjects, from SBK to MotoGP, obviously passing through Endurance. HERE you can read the first part of the interview, while today we report some of Niccolò's thoughts on MotoGP and Toprak Razgatlioglu's test at Aragon.
The Turkish rider will obviously not be able to get into MotoGP before 2024, given that next year the two M1 Factory seats are already occupied and that RNF has left the Iwata manufacturer to become the Aprilia satellite team with the RS-GP. But the Aragon test went well and the chance to see Toprak arrive at MotoGP in 2024 is still intact.
"I wasn’t present at Aragon for Toprak’s tests - said Canepa - but I heard several rumours about that day. He only rode in the morning because it was raining in the afternoon. He rode hard, about a second behind Crutchlow, who is strong with the M1. So, he didn't take a second from a slow test rider, but from excellent references. I remember that when I tried a MotoGP for the first time I was in shock, I felt like I had to learn to ride from scratch. So, in my opinion it went very well for Toprak, he confirmed that he is a top-level rider."
For 2023 there are no open doors in MotoGP, but there is Morbidelli who is suffering a lot with the Yamaha. In your opinion, is it plausible that Iwata decides to make room for Toprak ahead of time?
"Over the years we have seen all sorts of things. Just remember Maverick Vinales who had already won with Yamaha in mid-2021 and then decided to leave. Anything can happen, but I see it as difficult. In Yamaha, like me, everyone wants Franco to prove his worth by going back to going fast as he did in 2020, but on the other hand, anything can happen. For now, I don't see it as a viable scenario ".
Perhaps organizing other tests for Toprak would demonstrate Yamaha's willingness to take him to MotoGP in the future.
"A second test would be a nice message. A big show of interest in Toprak. Of course, in this world we are used to seeing the rider evaluations change very quickly. You go from being a hero to zero in an instant. I think if Toprak were to continue to go fast, it would be completely normal for Yamaha to think of him for the future in MotoGP. He has won an SBK world championship that had been missing at Iwata for a long time, and he is an exceptional person as well as an exceptional rider. The fact is that today with MotoGP it is not at all easy to organize tests, the regulations are particular. It would not be easy to let him test a lot, but it would be a good message from Yamaha to organize other tests for him. "
Do you think that Iwata can decide to revolutionize the M1, perhaps switching to a V4?
"I read something; all the possibilities are open. Of course, when you make a change like this it takes a long time to sort out everything around it. The bike is built around the engine, so it would start almost from scratch for the electronics, the chassis. It would take a very crowded test program, a big budget and also a lot of time to work. But on the other hand you must always understand if they really want to do it. They won in 2021, they are winning again this year. Fabio is in front even if he has had difficult races, so the bike works. Certainly taking the V4 path would mean having to wait before achieving high level results ".
What do you think the increase in the performance gap between the V4 and the 4 in line depends on?
"Now in MotoGP the aerodynamics and the lowering device make a big difference. Their rivals were probably better at finding an optimal solution before in these areas. It was the same when the electronics arrived, you could see huge differences between the bikes. Then over time these differences diminished. But in the end today everyone says that Ducati is the best bike in the world, that Aprilia is the best bike in the world, but in the world championship Quartararo is ahead of everyone. "