WSBK champion set to test Yamaha MotoGP bike

Toprak Razgatlioglu on his Yamaha Superbike. Photo: WorldSBK

Yamaha Superbike world champion Toprak Razgatlioglu is set to test one of his MotoGP bikes later this year, the team has announced.

The Turk was the subject of speculation over a MotoGP switch last year as he headed for a WSBK title that broke a six-year stranglehold on Jonathan Rea and Kawasaki.

Monster Energy Yamaha team principal Massimo Meregalli has now revealed plans to put Razgatlioglu on a YZR-M1 during the upcoming Nordic summer.

It had been hoped that he would undertake such a test at the end of last year, after the end of the MotoGP season, but the WSBK final in Indonesia got in his way.

“Last year, at the end of the season, at the end of the test in Jerez, we planned a test for him,” Meregalli told the official MotoGP website.

“But then Indonesia planned the last Superbike race, so he had to fly there.

“But this year, according to Cal [Crutchlow’s test] schedule, we probably have to find a day that could suit his [Razgatlioglu’s] calendar and our calendar.

“It would certainly be interesting, and he really deserves to have this opportunity because what he did last year was amazing.

“And not just me, but I’m curious to see him in M1.

“We already have a schedule, and there are two possibilities: one was in August and the other maybe in June, but I’m not sure.

“We have already exchanged this possibility. As soon as we are ready, we will then decide together on the right moment. »

It’s far from inconceivable that Yamaha has a MotoGP seat to offer for 2023, given the current state of affairs.

Honda is courting 2021 Iwata-brand champion Fabio Quartararo, who wants to see YZR-M1 progress before re-signing, and Yamaha-contracted RNF rider Andrea Dovizioso isn’t sure if he wants to race when he will be 37 years old. year.

Razgatlioglu, meanwhile, tweeted last month: “I always had a dream in MotoGP. 2023, why not?

Quartararo was the fastest of the Yamaha riders in the just-concluded official Sepang test with a time of 1:58.313, earning him seventh place on the timesheet.

The six riders ahead of him posted times faster than his all-time lap record, achieved in qualifying for the Malaysian Grand Prix in 2019, while the Frenchman was exactly one hundredth of a second off that benchmark.

Testing resumes this Friday when MotoGP heads to the new Mandalika International Street Circuit in Indonesia for the first time.

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