World Superbike champion Toprak Razgatlioglu is set to test a Yamaha MotoGP bike later this year, according to Yamaha team manager Massimo Meregalli.
The Turkish rider ended Kawasaki and Jonathan Rea’s six-year reign in WSBK last season when the 25-year-old clinched his maiden world title having amassed 13 race wins.
Razgatlioglu was linked to a MotoGP ride for 2022 briefly last year, and was due to test the YZR-M1 at the end of 2021 according to Meregalli – though the final WSBK round in Indonesia going ahead in November scuppered those plans.
But speaking to MotoGP.com, Meregalli confirmed discussions are being held for Razgatlioglu to test the Yamaha MotoGP bike for the first time this summer.
“Last year, at the end of the season, at the end of basically the Jerez test, we planned a test for him,” Meregalli said of Razgatlioglu testing for Yamaha.
“But then Indonesia planned the last Superbike race, so he had to fly over there.
“But this year, based on Cal [Crutchlow’s test] calendar, we have to find probably one day that could suit his [Razgatlioglu’s] calendar and our calendar.
“It would for sure be interesting, and also he really deserves to have this opportunity because what he did last year was amazing.
“And not only me, but I’m curious to see him an M1.
“We already have a schedule, and there are two possibilities: one was in August and the other one maybe in June, but I’m not sure.
“We’ve already exchanged this possibility. As soon as we will be ready, we will then decide together when the right moment will be.”
Razgatlioglu sent social media into a frenzy last month when he tweeted: “I always had a MotoGP dream. 2023, why not?”
At the end of January Yamaha also confirmed it had re-signed three-time MotoGP race winner Crutchlow as its test rider on a new two-year deal.
The Briton has been on track this week at the Sepang shakedown and official test, with Meregalli happy both parties could continue together into 2022
“As soon as I read the news I started sweating because it’s not easy to put up with him,” Meregalli joked.
“No, we were always looking to find a fast rider, especially that now we will have always more tests in Europe and far from Japan. “That’s why we have someone like him with his experience and his speed.
“Also, he’s a really good, hard worker. So, we are happy and we reached the decision together. “I think probably here he understood the amount of work he’s going to have during the year.”