Toprak Razgatlioglu is ‘ready to surprise anyone’ as he prepares to make the surprise switch from Yamaha to BMW for the 2024 WorldSBK Championship, according to his manager Kenan Sofuoglu.
Razgatliogluk - the 2021 WorldSBK Champion - announced on 22 May [Monday] that he will embark on a fresh challenge for next season by joining the factory Shaun Muir Racing-prepared BMW Motorrad squad after four years with Yamaha.
The move has raised eyebrows for a number of reasons, not least BMW’s relative lacklustre performance since returning to the top flight in a factory capacity in 2019 and its lack of progression towards MotoGP, one of the reasons cited for Razgatlioglu’s decision to join Yamaha in 2020.
However, after a recent MotoGP test with Yamaha drew a lukewarm response from Lin Jarvis, the decision was taken to park those aspirations in favour of remaining in WorldSBK.
Seeking a fresh challenge outside of Yamaha as a result, Razgatlioglu was offered the chance to join either Kawasaki - with whom he made his WorldSBK debut - or BMW, but chose the latter to prove he can make the team a winner.
"Toprak is looking for a new challenge," Sofuoglu told Speedweek. “After the MotoGP test and all the stories around it, Toprak wanted something exciting. BMW gives him many reasons for this. Kawasaki was also interested in Toprak.
“But when I talked to him about it, I immediately realized that he would rather show his potential at the BMW. I know that many people take a different view of the situation than we do, but we are ready to surprise anyone.
“We believe in this project and I fully support Toprak's move to BMW - we will be world champions again.”