SBK, Toprak: “I prefer my Yamaha R1 to a satellite MotoGP”

He is the reigning world champion, therefore he will do his utmost to confirm the title this year. Superbike restarts from Aragon and most of the spotlight is on Toprak Razgatlioglu. On the eve of the first World Championship round, the Turk wanted to pay homage to us with this lengthy interview covering a wide range of topics.

There was talk of Superbike, MotoGP, but also particular moments that accompanied his life, such as the loss of his father Arif. At Motorland Toprak turned up with the #1 on the front fairing, but his humility and kindness are still the same as when he made his debut with Puccetti.

Forget about a young man whose title win has gone to his head, the Turk is the same as always!

“I am super concentrated for this season – started Toprak – obviously there is a lot of expectation around me and I have worked hard over the winter to be ready. I would like to win in Aragon and Assen, the first two races of the season .But we’ll see how it goes, because there are so many fast riders here”.

Toprak, how much has your life changed since the title you won at Mandalika?

“To tell the truth, it hasn’t changed much, I’m the same guy. Do you see me different? Maybe I’m a little more popular in Turkey and I have one more title in my palmares (smiles)”.

You have a fiancée?

“Not for now, I’m single”.

How different is the current Toprak from the one that entered the SBK paddock for the first time?

“At the beginning I was shy, reserved, today I let myself go a little more. But there is a background I want to tell: I wanted to race in Supersport, I didn’t want to go to Superbike after Stock, because I wanted to be Sofuoglu’s partner with Puccetti. Kenan, however, wanted me to race in SBK, since in his opinion I had the right physique. At first I did not take it well, in fact I felt bad. In the years to come I then understood his plan and he was right. Let’s say that in the end it didn’t go badly, because I won the title (smiles)”.

Now you are the one who has to teach Kenan lessons.

“We mustn’t say that, I can’t answer this question!”.

Toprak, we always see you on the edge. Are you afraid when you are on a motorcycle?

“I’m not afraid on the bike, because I experience the bike as fun. Obviously I’m always looking for the limit, but without exceeding it. I am a rider who loves to fight, to duel, obviously respecting the opponent. This is my mentality, which has accompanied me since I was a child”.

Can you cook a kebab for us?

“Absolutely not! If you want, I’ll do a stoppie for you, or rather I’ll do as many as you want. But don’t ask me to cook a kebab. Cooking is not my forte”.

Toprak, how hard was it to get over the loss of your father?

“I still remember that day today, despite the fact that some time has passed. We were looking for him on the phone, but unfortunately he didn’t answer. We had no idea where he was. We went to his shop, where a friend of my father’s joined us. We knew that he was going to another city with his bike. Then we got that phone call”.

If you want, we can change the subject.

“No, there is no need. Two years ago I probably would have had a hard time talking about it, now I’m more serene. These have been difficult days. I am a Muslim, my faith has helped me to overcome his death, even if I do not wish anyone to be left without a father”.

Let’s go back to motorcycles. what will be the challenge with Bautista and Rea?

“Bautista is a very fast rider and his 2019 is an example of this. Rea, on the other hand, is a very strong rider and his world titles speak for themself. Up to now there have only been tests and a lot has not been seen. As you well know, the races count and we will see what the situation will be. My goal will be to fight to win, aware of the fact that it will not always be possible”.

Is it true that Ducati wanted you in SBK last year?

“Yes, I confirm! Ducati looked for me, I talked to them, but in the end I preferred to stay here”.

If Lin Jarvis were to offer you the M1 for 2023 what would you do?

“Why not? I’m here. But I would like an official bike (smiles), not the satellite one. I prefer my current R1 to the satellite bike. I say this out of sincerity, not to be proud or anything else”.

However, Quartararo’s official M1 is suffering.

“In my opinion, the bike is not bad. I talked to Fabio in the past. In my opinion Quartararo has a fantastic mentality and the title he won in 2021 he took home using his head. In addition to his wrist, his mind made the difference”.

When will you try the MotoGP bike?

“I still don’t know. I’m waiting (smiles)”.

Have a good championship Toprak!

“Same to all of you too! I hope you enjoy it”