After joining Yamaha in 2020 Toprak Razgatlioglu has announced today that he will leave the Japanese manufacturer come the end of the 2023 season.
The 2021 World Superbike Champion will leave the manufacturer that helped him to his only World Superbike title so far. Despite currently lying second in the Championship standings behind reigning Champion, Alvaro Bautista, Razgatlioglu wants a new challenge and target for his career.
Razgatlioglu has picked up 11 podiums, one of these podiums was a race win in Mandalika, from the 12 races so far this season and has by far been the second best rider in World Superbikes.
During his time at Yamaha Razgatlioglu has so far picked up 31 race wins, 47 further podiums and is one of Yamaha’s only two World Superbike Champions in the history of the class.
Discussing the announcement, Razgatlioglu said: “I want to say to the whole Yamaha family a very big thank you for the love and respect they have shown me. 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. So, a big thank you to Yamaha Motor Company, Yamaha Motor Europe, Yamaha Motor Turkiye, the Pata Yamaha Prometeon WorldSBK team and especially to my crew, who have all worked so hard for me.”
Andrea Dosoli, Road Racing Manager at Yamaha Motor Europe, said: “We will be sorry to see Toprak leave Yamaha at the end of this season. We wanted to continue what has been an incredibly successful partnership, with the obvious highlight being the triple crown of rider, manufacturer, and team world titles that we won together in 2021. We made what we felt was an offer that properly reflected Toprak’s value as a rider and an ambassador for Yamaha, as well as the competitiveness of our racing package and our racing strategy within the WorldSBK platform.”
It does not look like the Turkish riders future lies in MotoGP, but instead with a different manufacturer in the World Superbike paddock. This now opens the question of ‘who will Razgatlioglu ride for in 2024?’
Images from WorldSBK.com