The Turk managed to pique the factory’s interest by winning the championship last year, and was tipped to switch from WorldSBK to MotoGP, but after satellite team WithU Yamaha RNF switched from the Japanese brand to Aprilia, he was left without a seat in the category in 2023. The change could occur in 2024, if a new satellite team is formed.
Prior to the WithU RNF move, Yamaha had scheduled a date for Toprak to test out the MotoGP bike and see how he would feel, as the prototype model is quite different from the production bike he rides at WorldSBK.
Razgatlioglu completed 40 laps of the Spanish track on a day that was interrupted by heavy rain while taking part in the one-day private MotoGP test. He was joined by test rider and 2009 WorldSSP Champion Cal Crutchlow.
Speaking about his first MotoGP test, Razgatlioglu said: “This was my first day on the Yamaha M1 MotoGP bike and it felt completely different to my R1. More horsepower, different electronics, seamless gearbox, all of which is completely new for me. With every lap I learned more, because after WorldSBK it’s not so easy to adapt to the MotoGP machine. Fortunately, I had Cal Crutchlow on hand to offer advice and he was able to help me a lot. The bike feels good, especially on the straight where it’s very fast, and it was interesting to experience the carbon brakes.
“The conditions were really hot today, so we stuck to doing five or six lap runs only after the initial run of 12 laps to get a first feeling for the bike. When I watch the MotoGP bikes on television here at Aragon you can see it is a bit bumpy, and I can feel it here today. It’s not so bad, you have to keep the gas open to ride through the bumps, because if you close then it becomes more unstable. Overall, a very positive test, even if it was cut short by rain this afternoon, which meant I didn’t get quite as many laps in as I’d have liked. I really enjoyed riding the MotoGP bike, so many thanks to Yamaha for allowing me this opportunity.”
Although Lin Jarvis, Team Principal at Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP has confirmed there is “no spot” for Razgatlioglu in MotoGP for 2023, the Turkish star was still able to get his hands on the M1 at Aragon.
The test came just a few weeks after the defending Champion claimed his first victory of the 2022 season at the Emilia-Romagna Round in the Tissot Superpole Race.
Currently, Toprak occupies the third position in the championship, behind Alvaro Bautista (Ducati) and Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki).
Finally, the WorldSBK returns from the 15th to the 17th of July, with the UK round.
For more info, access the WorldSBK website.