Denning: If Yamaha wants Razgatlioglu in MotoGP then everything is possible

While 2021 WorldSBK champion Toprak Razgatlioglu will ‘for sure’ remain in Superbikes next year, 2023 and beyond remains open if ‘Yamaha wants him in MotoGP’, says Pata Yamaha Team Principal, Paul Denning.
Toprak Razgatlioglu, Indonesian WorldSBK, 20 October 2021
Toprak Razgatlioglu, Indonesian WorldSBK, 20 October 2021
© Gold and Goose

Despite having a two-year WorldSBK deal until the end of 2023, Pata Yamaha Team Principal, Paul Denning, believes a switch to MotoGP for Toprak Razgatlioglu is possible before then.

Should Razgatlioglu successfully defend his world title in 2022, Yamaha are even more likely to want the Turkish star in MotoGP after they already tried bringing him to Petronas - now called the new RNF Yamaha team for next year. 

And with Razgatlioglu not wanting to join MotoGP until he won the Superbike championship, a feat he’s obviously now accomplished, it makes moving to MotoGP considerably easier for both parties. 

Should he want to move to MotoGP which remains a big question mark, Razgatlioglu would normally have to wait until 2024 based on his current contract, however, because his deal is with Yamaha, it’s a change the Japanese manufacturer could easily engineer sooner according to Denning.

"So, Toprak [Razgatlioglu] has a two year contract with Yamaha for 2022 and 2023. For 22 he is here for sure. 23 let’s see… If he wins again here (WorldSBK) and Yamaha wants him in MotoGP then everything is possible," added Denning. 

Following the season finale in Mandalika, Indonesia, Denning was also asked about when he realised Razgatlioglu was ready to be a title winner. 

Razgatlioglu not only put together his best season since joining WorldSBK in 2021, but it was in fact one of the best individual seasons any rider has accomplished in the class, which made naming a specific moment very difficult for the Yamaha boss.

Even so, Denning highlighted Donington Park when a bad qualifying left Razgatlioglu 13th on the grid. However, the 25 year-old went from P13 to first on the opening lap before taking victory. 

Denning added: "There were so many races this year. When he does something that’s so special and shows so much talent and so much determination. 

"But if I have to pick one I would say Donington Park. We had a bad qualifying, can’t remember why but the position was P13 and he came from 13th to the front inside the first lap. Then I was thinking ‘okay, he can do anything’."

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