As of next season, the Turk will no longer ride for the Iwata manufacturer in the production-derived series.
The news had been in the air for weeks, with his manager and mentor Kenan Sofuoglu having alluded to the difficulties in negotiating a contract renewal, but it’s now official - Toprak Razgatlioglu will not be a factory Yamaha rider in next season’s Superbike World Championship.
The Turk, who was crowned 2021 world champion aboard the Iwata R1 and currently lies second in the championship behind Bautista (he is also the only rider other than the Spaniard to have won a race this year), is now the most talked-about rider in the paddock. The seat he vacates at Yamaha and the new adventure that awaits him will immediately set off a ‘domino effect’ which could shake up the entire grid ahead of 2024.
Toprak: “I’m not going to MotoGP, but want new challenges”
“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”, commented Toprak, who now seeks fresh motivation. “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 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 the whole team, who have all worked so hard for me”, continues the Turk.