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SBK, The MotoGP test, development on the R1 and… money: that's why Toprak hasn't renewed with Yamaha

ANALYSIS - For the Jerez test, Toprak had made a precise request to Yamaha, but the manufacturer did not meet his needs. In addition to this, the Turkish rider expected a further development step on the R1 to counter Bautista and the Ducati, which however did not arrive

SBK: The MotoGP test, development on the R1 and… money: that's why Toprak hasn't renewed with Yamaha


It's all over! After four years Toprak Razgatlioglu and Yamaha will part ways at the end of this season. In fact, the press release arrived this morning stating that the Turkish rider has decided not to renew for next year with the Japanese manufacturer.

It’s news that will significantly change the balance of the SBK rider market, considering that the former world champion is one of the prized possessions. In this regard, however, let's try to understand the reasons that led the Turk to make this decision to say goodbye to the Iwata manufacturer.

In our opinion there are three aspects that certainly influenced Razgatlioglu in truncating his adventure in blue.

- MotoGP test: as everyone knows, on Easter Monday, Toprak was back on the saddle of the M1 again, after that first contact at Aragon. He had done it in Jerez and for that occasion he had asked for a different seating position from the one he had at Motorland. Yamaha, for its part, however, did not meet his request and as Kenan himself indicated in the interview he gave us at Assen, that test seemed to be simply an automatic test.

In a nutshell: after those two days, Toprak had the impression that Yamaha didn't believe in him that much for MotoGP and that the purpose of that test in Andalusia was simply to comply with a contract note.

- R1 development: as repeatedly declared by the rider himself over the course of last season, for 2024 Toprak wanted a Yamaha capable of fighting on a par with Bautista's Ducati, without being continually stripped of its paint on the straight by the red bike. Put simply: the Turk wanted a more powerful bike in terms of engine or even a new R1.

Over the winter, Yamaha worked hard on what it had available, bringing a new swingarm and some electronic updates to the track. In this case, obviously, we are not pointing the finger at the guys who work in Gerno di Lesmo, who have done everything necessary to put the Turk in the best position and to whom we can only applaud for their efforts. If anything, we need to understand what the intentions of the Iwata manufacturer are today when considering Superbike, obviously bearing in mind that it is the two-wheeler market that calls the shots. It might also be true that Yamaha is the most popular bike in the paddock, as well as the most complete looking at the World SBK results, but Toprak probably expected more.

Indeed, for a champion like him, we are of the opinion that it is highly frustrating to go to Barcelona with the knowledge that you have no weapon to play against Bautista and the Ducati, knowing that in the best case scenario, the best result to aspire to is a second place.

- Retainer fee: between retainer and sponsors Toprak is a rider who until this year could earn about 1 million and 200 thousand / 300 thousand euros. On the economic side, Yamaha has obviously tried to increase the offer by compensating with greater technical support for 2024. Most likely, the economic offer from the Iwata manufacturer was lower than the one offered to Kenan by some other manufacturers.

These may be some of the reasons that led Toprak to say goodbye to Yamaha.


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