Toprak Razgatlioglu, the reigning Superbike World Champion, has been confirmed to be testing the Yamaha YZR-M1 MotoGP bike at Jerez next week.

  • The second test will take place three weeks before the resumption of WorldSBK in Assen. 
  • Jerez is a track where Razgatlioglu has traditionally been very strong. 

The test will also be attended by official Yamaha MotoGP test rider, Cal Crutchlow, who will be assessing new parts from Yamaha to enhance the YZR-M1’s performance.

This will be Razgatlioglu’s second outing on the YZR-M1, after his test in mixed conditions at MotorLand Aragon last year. It is speculated that Yamaha is giving Razgatlioglu a chance to try the MotoGP bike in the fully-dry conditions that he missed out on in Aragon last year, or to prepare him for a MotoGP switch in 2024, likely in place of Franco Morbidelli.

Lin Jarvis, Managing Director Yamaha Motor Racing, stated that Razgatlioglu is an extraordinarily talented motorcycle racer, and he is curious to see his speed on the Factory MotoGP machine. Razgatlioglu will have the chance to ride alongside Cal, who will be there for the ongoing development testing of Yamaha’s 2023 YZR-M1.

Andrea Dosoli, Road Racing Manager Yamaha Motor Europe, expressed his gratitude to Yamaha for giving Razgatlioglu the opportunity to test the YZR-M1 once again. The Jerez track is a place where Razgatlioglu has traditionally been very strong, and it looks like they’re going to enjoy almost perfect testing conditions. Dosoli added that Razgatlioglu’s focus at the test will be on getting a feel for the characteristics of the YZR-M1 and the Michelin tyres.

Razgatlioglu himself said that he is looking forward to testing the YZR-M1 MotoGP bike at Jerez, a track he likes a lot. He thanked Yamaha for giving him this opportunity and stated that the test will give him the chance to understand better the demands of racing a Factory MotoGP bike.

Razgatlioglu’s Andalucian test on the Yamaha MotoGP motorcycle will take place three weeks before the resumption of the WorldSBK series in Assen at the end of April. Meanwhile, MotoGP’s next race is at the Circuit of the Americas on 14-16 April.

Monster Energy Yamaha has officially unveiled its latest livery ahead of the 2023 MotoGP season. 

The official unveiling ceremony was done in Indonesia during Yamaha S3 Dealer Meeting. 

Joining the glitzy event were Yamaha MotoGP team boss Lin Jarvis, Yamaha President Yoshihiro Hidaka, Yamaha MotoGP team director Massimo Meregalli and two lead rider, Fabio Quartararo and Franco Morbidelli. 

While the Yamaha M1 still features Yamaha’s iconic blue, the fairing and nose cone of the 2023 race bike now features a distinctive dazzle-camo paint scheme. 

According to Yamaha the 2023 livery is designed by legendary helmet designer, Aldo Drudi. 

“I always felt our previous bike was the most beautiful and clean in the racing world, but now you will notice it’s a little bit more aggressive. 

“A little bit younger. You can see some camouflage feel and this is not by accident. The [livery] has been designed by one of the top designers in our world, Aldo Drudi in Italy, and the idea is to be aggressive.

“We are going to battle! We are going to war! We are going to challenge!,” said Jarvis. 

Also, the same design will be applied to every official Monster Yamaha team as confirmed by Jarvis. 

“You will also see later this week a similar [livery] design in Supercross and Motocross. So this is a Monster Yamaha new look and feel,” he added. 

Meanwhile, Quartararo will not only begin the new season with a new livery, the Frenchman will also donned the all-new HJC RPHA 1 race helmet.

Yamaha has formally confirmed that the Turkish rider will get the opportunity in 2022 as a step to evaluate a potential move to MotoGP earlier-than-planned.

“At the end of the season and Jerez test, we planned a test for him and then Indonesia organised the last Superbike race and he had to fly over there.

“But this year, the [MotoGP-WorldSBK] calendars mean we have to find a day that would suit both calendars.

“We have a schedule already and there are two possibilities; one is in August and the other one maybe in June. As soon as we are ready, then we will decide the right moment together,” explained Yamaha Factory Team Manager, Massimo Meregalli.

Razgatlioglu helped deliver Yamaha its first WorldSBK title after 12 long years in an epic battle with 6-time WorldSBK champion, Jonathan Rea at Mandalika Circuit.

Yamaha had planned to allow Razgatlioglu to test out the M1 before the start of MotoGP official test however, the change of date for the final round at Indonesia scuppered those plans.

Now it looks like the 25-year-old will finally given the chance mid-2022 before proceeding to promote him a MotoGP seat in 2023.

Fabio Quartararo began the defence of his 2021 MotoGP title with the Official MotoGP Sepang Test at Sepang International Circuit (SIC).

Despite ending Day 1 & 2 as the fastest Yamaha rider on the track, Quartararo was still behind two or more Ducati machinery on the grid.

Aprilia’s Aleix Espargaro emerged as the fastest rider on Day 1, while Enea Bastianini clocked the quickest time on Day 2 onboard the one-year-old Ducati GP21.

The result could frustrate Quartararo, who was notably outperformed by Ducati bikes during the latter rounds of last year.

It also led to Quartararo asking Yamaha to extract more speed from the factory M1 in the hope to quell the threat of Ducati, especially on the straights.

However, while Quartararo’s top speed of 332.3km/h looked strong, he admitted to out-braked himself coming through the speed trap.

“I wanted more horsepower, but at the end we can’t just invent [more horsepower].

“If we have it, it’s better. But if we don’t, it’s not useful to say all the time that it’s missing power.

“If you have no power, you adapt yourself, like I did in the past. If we need to adapt, we’re going to adapt,” he said.

Yamaha is known for its agility; however its unwavering approach to ensuring the M1 remains the sweetest handling on the grid at the expense of power has come in for criticism in recent years, from the likes of Valentino Rossi and Maverick Vinales.

MotoGP is back in action this weekend at the Red Bull Ring after the summer break.

Veteran rider Cal Crutchlow will mark his debut with the Petronas Sepang Racing Team (SRT) as a replacement for the injured Franco Morbidelli.

Crutchlow is set to partner 7-time MotoGP world champion Valentino Rossi for the next three rounds.

“I’m really looking forward to being back on the grid and getting into the swing of a race weekend again, although it’s going to feel very different to the job that I’ve been doing this year as Yamaha’s test rider,” said the 35-year-old Britain.

Despite already familiarized himself with the factory-spec M1 as a test rider, the Red Bull Ring is not one of his favourites.

“The circuit at Spielberg isn’t one that I’ve enjoyed too much in the past, however, I did finish fourth in 2018, and that was a good result.

“It’s not a fast and flowing circuit; it’s somewhere where you need to be quick and very precise,” he added.

Nonetheless, Crutchlow admitted that his main objective this weekend is to take it session by session.

“I don’t have a target as such when it comes to results; my main aim will be to try to improve session by session.

“I’ll be working with Ramon Forcada, who knows the Yamaha bike very well. I think it will be good as Ramon was with Yamaha when I was.

“I’m sure it will go well; I just want to make sure that I do a good job for the team,” said Crutchlow.


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