Toprak Razgatlioglu, de ex-wereldkampioen en smaakmaker van het WK Superbikes maakt de overstap naar BMW voor 2024. Daarmee zet de Turk een punt achter zijn relatie met Yamaha, het merk waarbij hij zijn grootste successen kende nadat hij in de rangen opklom bij Kawasaki. De eerste reacties op de overstap zijn niet mals, vooral omdat de succesvolle rijder lijkt te kiezen voor het grote geld, op een weinig competitieve motorfiets.
Toprak stapt daarmee in de sporen van Nederlandse held Michael Van Der Mark, de veelvoudige Suzuka-winnaar kon na een snelle opmars bij Yamaha geen grote successen meer scoren voor het ROKiT BMW Motorrad WorldSBK team en de reden daarvoor lijkt duidelijk: de M 1000 RR is simpelweg niet de juiste motor voor het WSBK. Hieronder het officiële bericht van Dorna.
After the announcement that he would be leaving Yamaha, Razgatlioglu will link up with BMW from 2024…
A key piece of the 2024 MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship rider line-up has fallen into place with Toprak Razgatlioglu joining up with the ROKiT BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team from 2024 on the M1000RR machine. BMW will become the third manufacturer Razgatlioglu has raced with in WorldSBK, following on from Kawasaki and Yamaha, when he links up with the team from the 2024 season onwards.
FROM YAMAHA TO BMW: Razgatlioglu follows in van der Mark’s footsteps
The 2021 Champion will have spent four seasons with Yamaha by the time his contract ends at the end of this season and so far he has won 33 races and taken a total of 93 podiums in WorldSBK career, 31 and 78 of which respectively were with Yamaha while the remainder came when he was with Puccetti Kawasaki in 2018 and 2019. Razgatlioglu’s teammate is currently unknown at this stage for 2024 but he follows in the footsteps of his former teammate, Michael van der Mark, who made the switch for the 2021 campaign and is BMW’s last race winner, having won the Tissot Superpole Race in mixed conditions at Portimao in 2021.
Razgatlioglu joined Yamaha for the 2020 season and got off to a winning start with victory at Phillip Island in Race 1 in 2020, before following that up with two wins to end the season at Estoril. In 2021, he was engaged in a thrilling battle with Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) as he claimed his first world title while Alvaro Bautista (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) joined the fight in 2022 as he took Razgatlioglu’s crown despite the Turkish star winning more races in 2022 than his title-winning campaign. Now, after four seasons with Yamaha, Razgatlioglu will embark on a new challenge with BMW.
Van der Mark made the switch from Yamaha to BMW for the 2021 campaign but he was not the first to do so. Marco Melandri made an instant impact in his rookie campaign with Yamaha but switched to BMW for the 2012 campaign and his switch proved to be a success as he led home BMW’s first ever 1-2 finish. Melandri’s stint with BMW means he remains the German manufacturer’s most successful rider, something Razgatlioglu will look to emulate and beat following his switch to BMW.
BMW SAYS: “A forward-looking step for our project… Toprak is undoubtedly one of the best riders”
Razgatlioglu will line up on the M1000RR for the 2024 campaigns after four seasons with Yamaha as he joins up with BMW on the M1000RR to become the third manufacturer he has raced with in WorldSBK. Discussing his arrival to the team, Marc Bongers, BMW Motorrad Motorsport Director, said: “Toprak is undoubtedly one of the best riders in the field at the moment, which he not only proved by winning the 2021 World Championship title. But he’s not just a fast motorcycle racer, he’s also a great personality off the track. We are convinced that Toprak will settle into the BMW Motorrad Motorsport family very quickly. We are looking forward to our collaboration and to our future together.”
Dr. Markus Schramm, Head of BMW Motorrad, added: “Welcome to the BMW Motorrad Motorsport family, Toprak Razgatlioglu. We are delighted to welcome him to our WorldSBK factory squad from next season on. I am very proud that Toprak has opted to join BMW Motorrad. This is a forward-looking step for our project and a strong commitment of BMW Motorrad Motorsport in World Superbike.”