Kenan Sofuoglu has thrown speculation into the future of Toprak Razgatlioglu wide open by sensationally revealing he has rejected Yamaha’s offer of a new deal, says his rider isn’t ‘completely satisfied’ at the manufacturer and has opened talks with both BMW and Kawasaki.
With Alvaro Bautista and Jonathan Rea now locked in with Ducati and Kawasaki respectively for the 2024 WorldSBK season, attention has turned to Razgatlioglu’s immediate future.
The Turk is coming to the end of his current Yamaha deal, after which it was anticipated he might move up to MotoGP with the Iwata firm.
However, with Yamaha’s availability whittled down after losing its satellite team and a recent MotoGP test suggesting Razgatlioglu would need an longer lead-in time to be ready for the jump, it appears to have created ructions between the manufacturer and the 2021 WorldSBK Champion's manager Sofuoglu.
In an interview with Speedweek, Sofuoglu says he has already turned down Yamaha’s offer to Razgatlioglu.
He then expands on this by revealing a tempting deal has been tabled by BMW, while talks with Kawasaki - who Razgatlioglu began his WorldSBK career with on the Puccetti bike - have also opened.
“I rejected Yamaha's offer. They didn’t offer us what I imagined,’ he said. “I had told Yamaha that I wanted a commitment in Catalunya, I wouldn’t talk to any other manufacturer until then.
“Now I'm talking to others too. I have an offer from BMW and I also talk with Kawasaki and manufacturers in MotoGP. Toprak thinks highly of the BMW. I don't have an offer from Honda.”
He also goes on to add that Razgatlioglu is ‘not completely satisfied at Yamaha’, seemingly referring to the gulf in performance between his Yamaha R1 and the dominant Ducati Panigale V4 R of Bautista.
“When we went to Yamaha in 2020, many also advised me against it and said that this would destroy Toprak's career. Toprak is not completely satisfied at Yamaha at the moment, so we don't see the best Toprak at the moment.
“On the positive side, Yamaha have offered us a long-term contract and that we have very close relations with Yamaha Turkey. I won't rush anything, maybe we won't decide where Toprak is going until the summer."
CLICK HERE to view the latest 2023 WorldSBK Championship standings after Round 4 of 12 [Catalunya WorldSBK]