BMW Motorrad Motorsport Director Marc Bongers gave his first thoughts on the German manufacturer securing Toprak Razgatlioglu’s services in 2024
As the MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship paddock headed to the Misano World Circuit “Marco Simoncelli” for the 2023 Pirelli Emilia-Romagna Round, all eyes were on BMW following the news that Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha Prometeon WorldSBK) would swap Yamaha for BMW from the 2024 season. On Friday at Misano, BMW Motorrad Motorsport Director Marc Bongers gave his view on the signing of the 2021 Champion.
Razgatlioglu joined Yamaha in 2020 and made an instant impact with the Japanese manufacturer as he won Race 1 at Phillip Island, his first race for Yamaha. He ended the season with two more wins at the season-ending Estoril Round. Following on from that, Razgatlioglu claimed the 2021 title after a season-long fight with Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) with culminated in a final-round showdown in Indonesia.
Last year, Razgatlioglu lost the title after another season-long with but this time with Alvaro Bautista (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) who, like Razgatlioglu, claimed the title in Indonesia. In 2023, Razgatlioglu and Bautista are the only two riders to win races, with Bautista winning 11 out of 12 so far and Razgatlioglu the Mandalika Superpole Race. After four seasons and 31 race wins for Yamaha, Razgatlioglu will join BMW in 2024.
Discussing BMW signing Razgatlioglu, Bongers said: “It’s very exciting for us. It’s a new challenge for us and for Toprak on top of that. We have a strong rider line-up already but, for sure, this will add another level. He is one of the top riders of this paddock. What was especially impressive is his dedication and his never give up attitude that seems to match our ethos.”
However, the teammate of Razgatlioglu for 2024 is currently unknown. Scott Redding (ROKiT BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) and teammate Michael van der Mark are the current riders for the factory BMW squad, with Redding revealing on Friday that he has until July 15th to make a decision on his BMW future. Bongers addressed the full line-up for BMW in 2024 but refused to name names related to who could be Razgatlioglu’s teammate. He said: “It’s a little early, we’ll still have to wait quite a few weeks. We will announce it at a later date how we allocate our rider line-up between teams.
Watch more WorldSBK action throughout 2023 using the WorldSBK VideoPass!