Just a few days ago, Toprak Razgatlioglu candidly admitted that he was looking for a MotoGP seat for 2024, riding a Yamaha or even with other manufacturers. The Turk could have already gotten his hands on an M1 in 2022, but at the time he didn't want to accept the idea of racing in the RNF team, preferring to wait for a chance as an official rider. This opportunity could materialize in 2024, because with Franco Morbidelli's contract expiring, there is the possibility for Toprak to try and become Fabio Quartararo's new teammate in 2024.
Certainly, his performance in Argentina gave Morbidelli a shot in the arm, but to earn his renewal he will have to prove that he has really come out of the dark crisis that has gripped him since 2021. In the meantime, Razgatlioglu will be able to test aboard the M1 at Jerez and he will do it tomorrow and Tuesday, in the company of Cal Crutchlow, repeating the method already used last year in his first test at Aragon. The announcement came today as a bit of a surprise, but certainly while the first test in June 2022 at MotorLand was a prize for the title won the previous year in SBK, this Jerez test takes on a very different meaning.
“Firstly, let me say it is our pleasure to be able to give Toprak another opportunity to ride the YZR-M1 – were the words of Lin Jarvis – I was unable to be present at his previous test but this time I will be in Jerez to follow the testing and I will depart straight from there to attend the Grand Prix of the Americas in Austin next weekend. Toprak is an extraordinarily talented motorcycle racer, and I am very curious to see his speed on our Factory MotoGP machine. He will have the chance to ride alongside Cal who will be there for the ongoing development testing of our 2023 YZR-M1.”
Andrea Dosoli also commented on this news concerning his protégé in SBK.
“I would like to thank both Yamaha Motor Company and Yamaha Motor Racing for giving Toprak the opportunity to test the YZR-M1 once again. As the reigning Superbike World Champion, Toprak’s test aboard the Yamaha YZR-M1 last year was highly anticipated by many in both the MotoGP and WorldSBK paddocks. Unfortunately, it was difficult for him to fully familiarise with the YZR-M1 at the Aragon test due to the disruption caused by the weather. This time around at Jerez, a track at which Toprak has traditionally been very strong, it looks like we’re going to enjoy almost perfect testing conditions. Toprak’s focus at this test will, once again, be on getting a feel for the characteristics of the YZR-M1 and the Michelin tyres, whereas we are very interested to see how quickly a WorldSBK rider of his calibre can adapt to the unique demands of riding a MotoGP bike.”
Finally, Razgatlioglu himself spoke about a test that will be very important to give him further chances to be at the start of MotoGP in 2024.
“I am looking forward to testing the YZR-M1 MotoGP bike at Jerez, a track I like a lot. The last test in Aragon was limited by the weather, but in Jerez it looks like we’ll have better conditions and more track time. It will give me the chance to understand better the demands of racing a Factory MotoGP bike. Thanks to Yamaha for giving me this opportunity.”