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Toprak Razgatlioglu: Should BMW’s WorldSBK Star Fast-Track to MotoGP Before 2027?

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Should Toprak Razgatlioglu make the switch to MotoGP before 2027?

Currently dominating the World Superbike rankings with BMW, is it time for Toprak Razgatlioglu to expedite his MotoGP career plans?

Toprak Razgatlioglu achieved a flawless series of wins at Misano on Sunday, making him the first BMW racer to top the WorldSBK rankings since 2012.

However, could this also accelerate his goals in MotoGP?

There are speculations that BMW is strongly contemplating joining MotoGP in 2027, coinciding with the shift to 850cc engines, and having Razgatlioglu on board would be an ideal situation.

Considering Razgatlioglu's recent performance, Jordan Moreland, the host of the Crash.net MotoGP podcast, inquired whether the Turkish racer, who had a varied experience testing a Yamaha M1 last year, might contemplate making a switch earlier.

Superbike reporter Robert Jones stated that the performance displayed over the weekend on Ducati's home ground was remarkable, particularly highlighting the rider's dominance and his adaptation to the BMW this year.

"Indeed, I believe BMW has finally progressed to rank among the best motorcycles. However, the other BMW riders are still unable to match Toprak's performance."

Toprak hinted that his contract might include a clause allowing him to move to MotoGP ahead of schedule. If an offer comes his way, he’s open to considering it.

"Considering his current work with BMW, he might win another three world championships before transitioning with BMW to MotoGP in 2027."

"Of course, at 27, age is a factor in MotoGP. However, his skill is undeniable. I believe that remaining with his current team and then transitioning to MotoGP with BMW, a team he is already familiar with, would be the ideal scenario for everyone involved."

MotoGP editor Pete McLaren commented, "In my opinion, this situation is reminiscent of Rossi's debut year with Yamaha, where a rider jumps on a less-than-ideal bike and instantly performs well."

"It would be very unfortunate if he didn't move to MotoGP. Rob has detailed the connection with BMW, but if he secures the championship for BMW this year and chooses to jump directly to MotoGP, where could he possibly end up?"

The Pramac Ducati seat, currently held by title leader Jorge Martin, is expected to be available soon, though likely not for long. Kenan Sofuoglu has emphasized that Toprak would require a factory MotoGP seat regardless.

"Consider teams such as Repsol Honda… From Honda's perspective, if there was any opportunity to acquire Toprak, they would seize it immediately!"

Toprak possesses not just talent but also the expertise and drive to turn a struggling bike into a competitive one. He’s unhesitant about tackling tough challenges, particularly if he’s accompanied by his outstanding crew chief, Phil Marron.

"It might not be perfect for Toprak in terms of immediate competitiveness. However, if you're Honda and Mir departs, Toprak would be the ideal candidate. You'd want someone eager and willing to approach the situation with a fresh perspective."

“They already have Luca Marini, who provides valuable experience and detailed analysis, offering insights to the engineers on how the Honda's performance contrasts with the Ducati. So, why not bring in another rider who will push the bike to its limits?”

As Rob mentioned, it might be ideal to wait and transition to BMW in the future. However, if Toprak clinches the Superbike championship this year, adding to his 2021 Yamaha title, should he aim to win it repeatedly or consider moving to MotoGP sooner?

"It's a fascinating question… Capturing BMW's inaugural WorldSBK championship in his debut season would be an extraordinary accomplishment. Could it make him consider moving on to another challenge? Plus, 2027 is still quite some time ahead."

Toprak has exceeded expectations on the BMW to such an extent that any future plans for him might need to be accelerated.

Jones commented, "Why wouldn't Honda consider it? Moreover, if Toprak joined Honda, his lack of prior MotoGP experience might actually benefit him. It's not as if he's transitioning from an excellent MotoGP bike to one of the poorest performing ones."

"If BMW aimed to collaborate with Toprak once more for a MotoGP endeavor in 2027, securing a competitive satellite position at a team like Pramac could be a viable choice for one or two years. The challenge would be persuading Kenan!"

According to Moreland, transitioning to Honda next year would be risky. Currently, he is a leading figure in WorldSBK, representing BMW and achieving victories. Switching to Honda could mean less television coverage and increased physical demands because the Honda bike is notoriously difficult to handle, constantly trying to unseat its rider. Moreland views this change as a significant gamble.

"I believe he enjoys the atmosphere in WorldSBK. It's more relaxed, the schedule is less packed, and there are longer breaks that allow him to return home and engage in various enjoyable activities, as evidenced by his Instagram posts."

"I would prefer if he remained in World Superbike for a few additional years."

McLaren mentioned another point, noting that Honda, due to its current concessions, has the ability to conduct extensive private testing to fine-tune the MotoGP bike. This is an advantage not available to the European manufacturers at this time.

"This development might assist Toprak if he decides to make the move before 2027, but currently, everything remains uncertain."

Moreland stated: "There's no doubt that Toprak is a superstar in World Superbike. He's a major attraction. I believe BMW has made an excellent choice, and it will be interesting to see if they eventually join forces in MotoGP."

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