Toprak Razgatlioglu’s mooted MotoGP switch now looks to be off the cards as he announced on Monday morning that he will leave Yamaha at the end of the 2023 season.
The Turkish rider has competed with Yamaha’s World Superbike Championship outfit since switching away from the Kawasaki camp for the 2020 WSBK term, Razgatlioglu since having gone on to enjoy an ultra-successful stint with the brand as he collected a total of 32 race victories as well as the 2021 rider’s crown.
His success in the production-based series began evaluations to make the move to MotoGP for the ’24 season, with the under-pressure Franco Morbidelli’s seat within the factory Yamaha team the target.
Razgatlioglu subsequently tested the M1 on two occasions, though his chances looked to have dropped significantly following the second of these outings at Jerez as he struggled to match the times of test rider Cal Crutchlow.
Any hope of the spectacular Razgatlioglu’s move to the premier class was all but dashed though as he announced on Monday that he would leave Yamaha in its entirety at the end of the year, with the 26 year-old confirming that he didn’t feel “the same connection” with the MotoGP bike versus the WSBK-specification machine, effectively confirming he would join a new marque in WSBK next year.
“I want to say to the whole Yamaha family a very big thank you for the love and respect they have shown me,” began Razgatlioglu.
“To win the world championship was my dream when I signed with Yamaha, and we reached that goal together.
“For next season I feel I need a new challenge and while there was an opportunity in MotoGP, I didn’t feel the same connection with the MotoGP bike that I have with the superbike.
“But if I am to stay in WorldSBK then I need a new target, a new ambition. I am sorry to leave Yamaha, both the brand and the people, as we have a very good relationship, but change is part of any sport and normal for any professional.”