Razgatlioglu completes latest MotoGP test, what are his options for 2024?

Has Toprak Razgatlioglu’s dreams of becoming a MotoGP rider become clearer after his latest two-day test aboard an M1 at Jerez?
Toprak Razgatlioglu, Yamaha World Superbike Phillip Island 2023
Toprak Razgatlioglu, Yamaha World Superbike Phillip Island 2023

Razgatlioglu has made it no secret that he intends to switch WorldSBK for MotoGP, with the 2024 season being his most likely chance to do that.

The Pata Yamaha rider has been one of the best WorldSBK riders since 2019, and although his unique talent has led to many rumours involving a move to MotoGP for both the 2022 and 2023 seasons, such a switch has failed to materialise.

Joining MotoGP in 2022 was not seen as a realistic option after putting all his focus into winning the WorldSBK title in 2021, which he did. However, rumours increased about a switch to MotoGP for the current campaign midway through last season, as Lin Jarvis even admitted they should have signed him to replace an out of form Franco Morbidelli.

But with Yamaha losing its satellite team to Aprilia, and Morbidelli remaining with the factory outfit alongside Fabio Quartararo, Razgatlioglu was left with no other option but to remain in WorldSBK, especially since his current contract was (and remains) set to run until the end of this year. 

During the two-day test at Jerez, Razgatlioglu was less than two seconds off the pace set by Dani Pedrosa, according to reports, although lap times were unofficial due to it being a private test. 

It was also reported that Razgatlioglu was less than a second down on Yamaha test rider Cal Crutchlow.

Speaking after the test, Razgatlioglu added: “I’ve had two really good days. My focus was on completing as many laps as possible to get a better understanding of the bike, rather than pushing for a fast lap time, but it was very enjoyable anyway!”

So what are Razgatlioglu’s options for the 2024 MotoGP season?

Well, the 2021 Superbike champion could still seal a move to Yamaha alongside Quartararo if Morbidelli fails to perform. 

Franco Morbidelli, MotoGP race, Argentina MotoGP, 02 April
Franco Morbidelli, MotoGP race, Argentina MotoGP, 02 April

While it was just one weekend, Morbidelli looked close to his best in Argentina as he out-performed Quartararo throughout and secured two top five finishes.

But if that was to be a one-off in terms of good results, then Morbidelli could quickly find himself back under pressure and Razgatlioglu will fancy his chances of making that seat his.

It’s unlikely that becoming champion in WorldSBK will affect him joining MotoGP or not, although getting the better of Alvaro Bautista, which at this time appears to be a monumental task, would certainly not hurt his chances.

When looking away from Yamaha, two manufacturers come to mind as realistic options, which are Honda and Ducati.

Honda would make sense for various reasons, one of which is their substantial budget which would not be an issue when it comes to affording someone like Razgatlioglu alongside Marc Marquez, Alex Rins and Joan Mir, should they choose to move on from Takaaki Nakagami, while it would also signify a splash signing which could also be of interest.

Another key component could be sponsors as Razgatlioglu has a very big deal in place with Red Bull, which is also a company heavily involved with Honda in MotoGP, albeit mainly with the factory team and not LCR which is the outfit Razgatlioglu would need to join. 

If not Honda, then Ducati could be willing to take a chance on Razgatlioglu. The Italian manufacturer has the most bikes on the grid and therefore could see it as an opportunity of getting even stronger by adding an exceptional talent to its ranks.

Their move to sign Alex Marquez has so far paid off at Gresini after just two rounds this season, so Razgatlioglu could also fit that mould of a rider from another manufacturer coming in and delivering immediate results.

Read More