On the eve of this weekend’s round three of the WorldSBK championship in Estoril, Razgatlioglu confirmed the news that he will be testing a Yamaha MotoGP bike next month. 

This comes after Lin Jarvis, Managing Director at Yamaha, confirmed as much prior to last weekend’s Le Mans MotoGP. 

Razgatlioglu was initially set to test an M1 at the end of last season, but with the series’ two calendar’s clashing, and Razgatlioglu in the middle of attempting to win a maiden world title (Yamaha’s first in WorldSBK since 2009), the private test was subsequently delayed until this year. 

Razgatlioglu is now expected to take part in a one-day test alongside official Yamaha test rider Cal Crutchlow. 

Speaking to WorldSBK.com during FP1 in Estoril, Denning was unconcerned at the possibility of losing Razgatlioglu, although his preference is of course to keep the Turkish star. 

Denning said: "No, not really. He’s a Yamaha contracted rider and if Yamaha want him in MotoGP, it’d be a negative in 2023 for this particular team but maybe a huge positive for WorldSBK and Yamaha’s rider development programme. 

"Like all things, there’s going to be pros and cons. From a selfish point of view, we hope he’s here with us again next year."

Yamaha bring developments in bid to help Razgatlioglu’s WorldSBK title defence 

Already 45 points off Alvaro Bautista and winless through the opening six races, Yamaha have brought upgrades to this weekend’s Portuguese round in order to boost Razgatlioglu’s chances at a circuit he’s gone very well at previously. 

FP1 seemed to indicate steps have been made as Razgatlioglu was second to Garrett Gerloff, however, the main indicator was Razgatlioglu’s long run pace as he was the only rider able to set consistent sub 1m 37s lap times. 

Keeping grip and feel in the front tyre has been an issue through the opening two rounds, but if the problems have been resolved, then expect Razgatlioglu to be a force in all three races this weekend. 

"The performance at Aragon and Assen were very, very close to the win, big improvements on last year but not quite enough to win," Denning continued. "There’s been a lot of work behind the scenes and a reasonable amount of new stuff [has been brought], particularly on Toprak’s side, trying to help him take another step, in terms of the balance of the bike. 

"From one exit, it looks OK, but this is one of his favourite tracks and the big measurement comes later in the weekend. 

"We’ve always seen Toprak with his natural talent, super-fast straight away, but when Alvaro Bautista and Jonathan Rea and their teams improve the bikes and improve the package and they can use all the performance, then it becomes a lot more challenging."