For WorldSBK riders the move to MotoGP is not one that often comes their way, although there’s talent within the Superbike championship - past and present that has certainly been good enough to do so. 

Instead, it’s more common for MotoGP riders who are struggling to remain on the Grand Prix grid to make the move across, take Iker Lecuona and ex-Moto2 riders Xavi Vierge and Hafizh Syarin as the latest to make such a switch.

With that said, reigning WorldSBK champion Toprak Razgatlioglu does have a possible future in MotoGP despite the door being closed for 2023 and his age potentially being an issue down the road. 

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If Razgatlioglu does secure a move to MotoGP in the future, the Turkish star will be only the fifth WorldSBK rider to join Grand Prix racing since 2008 when Toseland managed that feat - Ben Spies, Cal Crutchlow and Loris Baz were the other three. 

And while the talent of Razgatlioglu is unquestionable, there are elements to making such a move that could prove very tough to overcome. 

Razgatlioglu, who is 26 years of age - would be 27 at the earliest time of any switch to MotoGP, is used to a short WorldSBK calendar while also competing on various different circuits - as many as ten of the rounds currently on the 2021 MotoGP calendar could be completely new to him, which Toseland calls a big ‘turn off’ for teams. 

Speaking to, Toseland added: "What is Toprak, 26 years old? If you were a team manager in MotoGP and with the level of MotoGP and riders it will take at least a year to fully get used to it. Well then you’re nearly 30. If it’s going to take two years then [the team's mindset] is let’s get a 22 year-old because we can give him two years. 

"By the time he comes into his prime then it’s become a long-term investment and he’s now 24 years old. There’s not many teams and sponsors who are going to put three years into someone who is a little bit too old by the time you get the hang of it. 

"One massive thing with Toprak that he doesn’t have is track knowledge. There must be six or seven tracks that he’s never been to." 

‘Oh my god, I’ll never forget racing Rossi’ at new tracks - Toseland

While there is no Rossi in his prime, Jorge Lorenzo and at the moment Marc Marquez (still recovering from his latest surgery) to deal with should a WorldSBK rider join MotoGP, the level we’re currently seeing in Grand Prix racing is at an all-time high, making it tougher than ever for a rookie. 

Toseland did race against Rossi as a newcomer to MotoGP which was an experience that nearly left the ex-Yamaha rider lost for words: "I know first-hand [the difficulties of going to new circuits] - I raced against Valentino [Rossi] in Phillip Island and I raced against Valentino in Sepang - oh my god! 

"I’ll never forget the experience of racing around with him in Phillip Island in 2008 and I’ll never forget the feeling of not being able to see him after three corners in Sepang. And to get within half a second of those boys after an hour-and-a-half on a track you’ve never been to before, it’s a tough old gig, I’ll tell you that. 

"I haven’t added up how many tracks Toprak hasn’t been to, but it must be six or seven which it was for me. Honestly, for teams that is the biggest turn off. 

"Any respectable rider can understand the tyres pretty quickly and I think they're not as awkward as they were when I was there. The way they cool down on the side that wasn’t being used - you still see a bit now but it was something - it was something that was really dangerous if you had no experience with them. 

"But the biggest thing is when you go down pit lane and you don’t know whether the first corner is right or left and you’ve got those boys [MotoGP riders] who know every blade of grass around the whole thing - it’s an unbelievable disadvantage. 

"Normally you can get down to around 1.1s off which is the standard after one day. Back in the day you might have been mid-pack, but now you’re last. And this is the key thing, a WorldSBK champion cannot be last in MotoGP. You can’t do it to them. 

"In Moto2 they do know everything, they do have the experience on all these tracks and they can just then focus on getting used to the tyres or the ride-height device. Whatever it is, it’s so much less of a risk for teams and sponsors. Like you said, if it’s difficult for Raul Fernandez then Jesus, it’s going to be tough for someone that doesn’t even know the circuit." 

WorldSBK not a ‘glorified’ BSB championship anymore, claims Toseland

Up next for WorldSBK is the British round at Donington Park this weekend, and although there’s less chance of British domination compared to previous seasons, it’s perhaps a good thing for ‘the show’, stated Toseland.

"I think Donington will have a lot of interest and I really feel like Superbikes is back to being an international world championship and not just a glorified British Superbike championship with all the British riders [that were involved]," said the former Ducati, Honda, Yamaha and BMW rider. 

"It was amazing to actually see that a top-heavy world championship with [British] nationalities was depleting the interest in it rather than increasing it. 

"That was a real surprise for everybody I think. Also, it was a surprise for Dorna and for the championship. They realised that they did need all the nationalities against each other in order to have that rivalry between nations and people, it’s a big part of the show."