until Abu Dhabi Autonomous Racing League


Razgatlioglu’s Yamaha MotoGP switch feels less likely than ever

by Simon Patterson
5 min read

until Abu Dhabi Autonomous Racing League

World Superbike champion Toprak Razgatlioglu’s chances of making a MotoGP switch in the near future seem less likely than ever, following the Turkish rider’s two-day outing with the Yamaha factory’s test team earlier this week.

Though him being offered the test – his second MotoGP tryout after a rain-affected debut in 2022 – indicated interest from Yamaha, initial reports suggest his pace while running with test rider Cal Crutchlow at Jerez didn’t exactly enhance his chances of securing a full-time move in the short-term.

Razgatlioglu joined MotoGP race winner Crutchlow on Monday and Tuesday at the Spanish circuit, setting – according to The Race’s sources – a fastest laptime of 1m38.8s, more than two and a half seconds off Pecco Bagnaia’s lap record from 2022.


However, that lap seemingly stands as something of an outlier at the end of the second day, with the majority of the laps completed by the 26-year-old reportedly being in the 1m40s bracket.

Speaking to MotoGP’s Jack Appleyard at this weekend’s Grand Prix of the Americas in Texas, Yamaha boss Lin Jarvis hinted that the times weren’t enough to make the 2021 world champion a prime contender to slot in alongside 2021 MotoGP champion Fabio Quartararo.

“The first day was quite difficult, because to suddenly get on the M1 is not easy,” explained the veteran team boss. “He had a latest-spec 2023 M1, but it’s not easy to switch from superbikes and the Pirelli tyres to a [Michelin-shod] bike that’s more difficult to get feeling [from]. He was struggling to get feeling, the feeling of confidence.

“You’ve seen the way he rides the superbike, and he’s all about front confidence. He can stand the bike on the end as he goes into corners, or his famous stoppies, and that was difficult to get used to.

“The second day was much better. The first day was a little bit of a struggle to get the riding position right, but on the second day he was obviously going much better with a day’s experience.

“It was a good day, but I would say not so easy. That’s probably the best way to describe it for Toprak. It was very interesting for us to give him the opportunity, but clearly he would need to spend more time on the bike to get really up to speed.”

This tallied with Jarvis’ acknowledgment in an earlier Sky Italia interview that he didn’t see Razgatlioglu as MotoGP-ready just yet.


Moreover, the impressive burst of speed shown by Quartararo’s current team-mate Franco Morbidelli at the previous round in Argentina, where he finished both the sprint and main race in fourth, couldn’t have come at a worse time for Razgatlioglu, with Jarvis adamant that the priority right now is to try to retain Yamaha’s current line-up should the Italian be able to retain his newfound speed.

“The biggest problem for Toprak anyway is finding a spot for him,” Jarvis admitted. “We’ve only got two bikes on the grid, and I think it’ll be difficult for us to get a satellite team on the grid for next year.

“We’ve got two spots only, and we really need someone who’s going to be fast right away. Perhaps Toprak might need more time to get up to speed.

“It’s a difficult call for us. Ideally we want Franky to run the rest of this season fast, to maintain the speed that he showed last weekend in Argentina. Really, I don’t know, and I don’t think Toprak knows either.

“One of the parting things that I said to him when we left is that he needs time to digest the experience, and to understand better and to decide what is best for the future.

“I would say that we don’t know yet, and it’s still too early to say. If we were to say yes to Toprak, he would definitely need to spend more time on the bike. But anyway, we’re banking on Franky right now. And [if] it’s not him, we’ll see.”

Refusing to be drawn on links to “very good” current Pramac Ducati rider Jorge Martin as a potential replacement for Morbidelli should the Termas de Rio Hondo weekend turn out to be an exception rather than the rule, Jarvis did admit one crucial detail: that a key figure playing a role in the situation is his own former rider and Morbidelli’s mentor, Valentino Rossi.

“We’re always in communication with all the managers in the paddock,” said Jarvis, “knowing what’s going on with contracts, what our options are. But our priority is Franky, and we’re in close communications with Valentino himself.


“I spent quite a bit of time talking to him last week, and he’s trying to help Frankie do what he did last weekend. That’s all that he has to do. He has to continue to be fast, and I think he has the capacity to do.”

One thing that Jarvis was relatively clear on, though, is the timeline of confirming Yamaha’s squad for 2024, with a cutoff point of mid-July likely to determine the team’s future direction.

“For everybody, we need to be clear before the summer break,” he admitted. “If it’s Franky, it’s great and we’ll reconfirm. If it’s not, he needs to know because he needs to look elsewhere and we need to have someone else lined up.

“There’s no deadline, but generally speaking we’ll say before the summer break – if we can call it a summer break with Kazakhstan right in the middle of it.”

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