Toprak Razgatlioglu to Partner Michael van der Mark at Yamaha in 2020
Toprak Razgatlioglu will join Michael van der Mark at Yamaha for the 2020 FIM Superbike World Championship.
Razgatlioglu, who claimed his first WorldSBK race victory in Magny-Cours at the weekend, will partner Michael van der Mark in the Pata Yamaha WorldSBK Team.
Razgatlioglu arrived in the WorldSBK paddock in 2015 to contest the European 600 Superstock Championship, which he won in his debut season. A move up the European 1000 Superstock Championship followed, where the young Turkish rider was a title contender for two years before stepping up to the WorldSBK class in 2018.
Razgatlioglu immediately made his mark in the premier production class, securing two podium finishes in his debut season with second place at Donington Park and third place in the penultimate round in Argentina.
The 22-year-old has developed even more strongly in 2019, securing his first top-three finish of the season at the Italian WorldSBK round in Imola and finishing on the podium at every round since. Razgatlioglu secured his maiden WorldSBK win with a scintillating performance in Race 1 at Magny-Cours, which he started from 16th position on the grid. The young Turk backed that up with victory in the Superpole sprint race the following day.
Eric de Seynes – President, Yamaha Motor Europe
“Toprak Razgatlioglu is the most exciting young rider in WorldSBK and I’m both happy and proud that he will race for Yamaha in 2020. When you consider Toprak’s progression this year, only his second in WorldSBK, his prodigious talent is obvious, but so is his warrior spirit. Like his teammate for next season, Michael van der Mark, he’s a rider who always finds that little bit extra on race day and is prepared to push to the limit to overcome any obstacle. We saw that clearly in Magny-Cours, where he came from the sixth row of the grid to claim his first WorldSBK race win. We have also seen this season that Yamaha has closed the gap to our rivals on track and I’m excited to see what Toprak can do on our Yamaha YZF-R1 in 2020. With Michael and Toprak I think we will have one of the strongest and most dynamic rider line ups on the WorldSBK grid next year.”
Kawasaki sad to see the Turk go
Manuel Puccetti, Kawasaki Puccetti Team Manager
“All of us at Kawasaki Puccetti Racing have a special feeling about Toprak. We took him from his “first day of school” in STK 600 and we’ve grown together as rider and team. For us it is amazingly satisfying and we feel immensely proud of our five years together as Kawasaki rider and team. Toprak is a pure talent and an incredible warrior who learned this riding style from his manager, another Puccetti rider, Kenan Sofuoğlu. Toprak is a very relaxed guy and we are sure he has a good future in WorldSBK. Everyone at Kawasaki Puccetti Racing thanks him for his time with our team and Kawasaki.”
Steve Guttridge, Kawasaki Europe Racing Manager
“It’s been a pleasure working with Toprak since he was 16 years old, helping him grow up and succeed inside the Puccetti team on the various Kawasaki Ninja models. His mentor Kenan told me; ‘This kid is gold, please work with him.’ Of course we listened and he has always delivered Kawasaki top results in the Stock categories, and now concluding his journey with us by making history on the new Ninja ZX-10RR in the highest category of World Superbike! Of course we are very sad to see him move on but would like to thank Toprak and Kenan for their great achievements with Kawasaki, past and present, and we thank the WorldSBK Championship format for helping to bring such new young talent into the future of motorcycle racing in general.”