Quartararo: Toprak ‘extremely talented’, can be ‘really fast’ in MotoGP

Fabio Quartararo has backed World Superbike champion Toprak Razgatlioglu to be ‘really fast’ if he makes the move to MotoGP in future.
Fabio Quartararo , German MotoGP. 19 June
Fabio Quartararo , German MotoGP. 19 June

The Turkish star made his much-anticipated grand prix debut during a private test at Aragon this week.

But with Yamaha reduced to only a factory MotoGP team next season – again led by Quartararo – it looks like Razgatlioglu will need to spend at least one more season in WorldSBK before trying to join the likes of Troy Bayliss, Ben Spies and Cal Crutchlow as a race winner in both categories.

“For me he is an extremely talented rider,” Quartararo said. “You can see from his riding style and how much he pushes the bike, also the save he did in Estoril on the last chicane, the way he's riding the Yamaha on the limit.

“I think he has the potential to jump in MotoGP.

“Of course it’s a total different story to Superbike. I think he knows from the test at Aragon that it’s a much more rigid bike, much more different to ride, but for sure if he's in full motivation, I think he can be a really fast rider.”

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While Razgatlioglu’s title defence is proving complicated, currently holding third in the WorldSBK standings behind Alvaro Bautista and Jonathan Rea, Quartararo starts the second half of the season at Assen this weekend with a 34-point MotoGP title lead.

“It has been a great first part of the season,” Quartararo said. “Qatar, Argentina and Austin were quite tough. Like I said many times, I was complaining a little bit too much about my top speed and I was not focused on my riding.

“And then when we arrived in Europe, I could really focus on riding, made great results and from Portugal until now we have made almost all the time podiums, just in Le Mans we finished fourth.

“But I think that we made a great first 10 races, exactly same points as last year on that stage, so I think we are on a great way.

“Portugal was, I think, one of the best moments. But of course Sachsenring I never really expected to win on that kind of track. And the race of Mugello where I was struggling all the weekend and finished on the podium.”

Fabio Quartararo, Johann Zarco, MotoGP, Dutch MotoGP 23 June
Fabio Quartararo, Johann Zarco, MotoGP, Dutch MotoGP 23 June

Countryman Johann Zarco, who starts this weekend third in the world championship, said: “What is pretty impressive from Fabio, apart from just the technical side of his riding, is the ability to carry the weight of being world champion and play for the second title.

“That's very impressive, to have this maturity, controlling the championship as he's doing.”

This weekend will see Quartararo looking to become the first Yamaha rider to win three races in a row since Jorge Lorenzo in 2015, although his first concern is the notorious Assen weather.

“It looked like full rain Friday, Saturday, Sunday and today I've just seen that it changed for Saturday and Sunday with better weather,” said Quartararo, winner of the Dutch round last season.

“I improved quite a lot my riding in the wet, but when you arrive to a place like Assen you want to have a dry track, because for me it's one you enjoy the most and one of the most mythical circuits on the calendar. So we hope for a dry race.”

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