Kenan Sofuoglu said he made it clear to Yamaha that he would only consider negotiating to take SBK world champion Toprak Razgatlioglu to MotoGP in 2023 if he was offered a full factory seat.
This despite the fact that MotoGP world champion Fabio Quartararo’s Yamaha seat is potentially available for 2023 after Franco Morbidelli was tied to a two-year contract from 2022.
As it stands, the Turkish rider is signed to compete in WorldSBK with Yamaha for 2022 and 2023 – after turning down a 2022 MotoGP seat with Petronas SRT (nee RNF Racing) – but rhetoric regarding a more immediate future in the premier class has taken a step forward in recent weeks.
As it stands, Razgatlioglu is expected to test a Yamaha M1 for the first time in the coming weeks, potentially during one of the official pre-season outings at Sepang and Mandalika, when he has recently been quoted saying he might consider taking the step sooner. than expected in 2023.
However, as his manager Sofuoglu – five-time WorldSSP champion himself – confirms that this could become the new plan, he clarifies that he is not ready to compromise on Razgatlioglu’s future and said that he would only agree to a deal if it was for a factory tour, rather than with the RNF Racing satellite bike which he says has been offered “several times”.
“I’ve told Yamaha about this before, they have a great interest in Toprak MotoGP going forward,” Sofuoglu told Speedweek. “But one thing is very clear: this is only possible if Toprak continues to win races in the 2022 World Superbike Championship.
“When Yamaha makes us an offer for the factory team, we’ll think about it. And only then. It’s not that we dream of MotoGP, Yamaha knows that too. We won’t be racing for a B team either, but only for the factory team. “
Even then, Sofuoglu says it wouldn’t be a given if Razgatlioglu headed for MotoGP, even with the promise of a factory deal with Yamaha.
“Even if Yamaha offers us a place in the factory team, I’m not sure,” said Sofuoglu, himself a five-time champion in the supersport category. “I will be very careful with Toprak’s career. I don’t want to be wrong and thus destroy his good feeling.
“He really enjoys running right now, I don’t want to ruin that. Razlan Razali has already asked us several times about the next season, but we are not interested. I made him understand that we would only consider the factory team. “