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SBK, Yamaha: Toprak waits for you, but under what conditions and what scenarios?

The Turkish rider will be the prized piece of the 2023 market: Toprak however wants certainties from the manufacturer, the competition is ready to go on the assault, Ducati is tantalizing and MotoGP in the background is not so obvious.

SBK: Yamaha: Toprak waits for you, but under what conditions and what scenarios?


There's no getting around it: the star of the next Superbike market will undoubtedly be Toprak Razgatlioglu. Born in 1996, he will be 27 next October, the 2021 world champion of the production-based series is a crystalline talent.

In addition to having already secured a world title in the premier class, last season he proved to be the only one capable of putting a spanner in the works of Alvaro Bautista and Ducati. Yamaha is well aware that it has a big shot in house, especially considering his ID card in comparison with Bau Bau and Johnny Rea.

Just last year, Andrea Dosoli was shrewd in playing in advance, getting his rider to sign a two-year contract, in order to keep him safe from any assaults by the competition. But now we're back to square one again, because in the coming months it will be necessary to get back to the table to start a new negotiation for his stay.

Let's try to understand what the possible scenarios could be

Scenario 1: Continue with Yamaha. Certainly Crescent and Yamaha Motor Europe, with whom Toprak has an existing contract, will try in every way to find an agreement with Kenan Sofuoglu to guarantee the permanence of the Alanya phenomenon in blue. On the subject however, in addition to the financial aspect, Razgatlioglu wants certain guarantees at a technical level. Like what? A Yamaha R1 that allows him to be able to fight on par with Alvaro Bautista's Ducati, without having to go over the limit every time. On the other hand, the # 54 has been clear several times on this issue, emphasizing the difficulties of battling the competition due to the engine of his Japanese bike.

Scenario 2: After spending three seasons with Yamaha, Toprak may decide to change his mind and look around the Superbike paddock. For him we are convinced there will be a queue starting from Honda, whose riders both have expiring contracts, as well as BMW, with van der Mark’s also expiring. We also add the Ducati to the list, which is the most competitive bike on the grid right now. Should Bautista eventually decide to leave, we are of the opinion that Aruba will waste no time in poaching number 54 to replace him. Something that happened last year, among other things, when the Italian team and Sofuoglu met up with each other without reaching an agreement.

Scenario 3: since last year there has been talk of a probable move by Toprak Razgatlioglu to MotoGP. To date, however, they are only rumours and nothing more. However, the question is clear: Toprak is willing to go to MotoGP only and exclusively with a factory team, because rather than riding a satellite bike, a factory one is better in SBK. Having said that, in the Yamaha Factory MotoGP team, the only contract that will expire this year will be that of Franco Morbidelli, given that Quartararo will remain in blue until 2024 on the M1 and from there he will make the necessary evaluations.

If Morbidelli were competitive, Yamaha could in fact decide to continue with the Italo-Brazilian in the name of balance. If not, he might instead go looking for alternatives. There are several names, above all Jorge Martin, who certainly won't want to waste any more time staying in a MotoGP satellite team unless promoted to factory status.

The Spaniard could therefore become a significant rival for the Turkish in the eventual race for a MotoGP seat. On the one hand we have an experienced rider who knows the category, on the other a talent who has everything to discover in the MotoGP world. About this aspect, let's not forget the friction between Lin Jarvis and Kenan Sofuoglu last season, when the former Turkish rider replied bluntly and decisively to the declarations of the British manager.

Toprak's future will therefore be one of the topics that will accompany us on Superbike's long 2023 journey.


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