For All the Great Things You Gave Us. Thank you, Toprak
The final race weekend of the 2023 season was an emotional one for Yamaha as they acknowledged the parting of Toprak Razgatlıoğlu with several special nods to the title winning Turk – including a farewell video which has been released to sum up the best moments shared and sentiments felt.
The 27-year-old has taken 131 race starts with Yamaha in WorldSBK since 2020 and in this time he has achieved a remarkable 100 podiums, 37 wins and 12 pole positions with the brand, as well as a superb World Championship crown in 2021. Toprak not only brought success, celebrations and a supreme riding style to the blue corner, but his unique personality, humour and showmanship too. Naturally, all those who worked with him have fond and funny memories of their time with the #54 rider.
These were revealed in special interviews carried out with the Pata Yamaha Prometeon team and key figures from Yamaha Racing ahead of the final round, and they made for interesting viewing with a wide range of, sometimes surprising, answers.
“I’ll never forget it, in 2021 we were in Indonesia and we spent so much time talking about the championship, it was amazing. He was really excited and we were eating a pizza and French fries together and it was really fun, especially because he then became champion.” – Andrea Locatelli, team-mate
“All the way back to the start, our first race together. He was sick with the ‘flu, he was struggling, but Kenan Sofuoğlu (Toprak’s Manager) told us that he could win the race. That’s exactly what he did. From that moment everything moved forward. But the wider picture is what I’ll remember most; the rider he became with us and the friendships made that I hope will last long term.” – Paul Denning, Team Principal, Pata Yamaha Prometeon WorldSBK
“The first stoppie I saw him do was just massive, I was standing in pitlane thinking ‘what is this?’ There’s been lots of fun along the way. Winning the title was unbelievable, a total dream come true. He made that happen, it was really emotional.” – Russ Joyner, Chief Mechanic
“Standing on the podium with him after his first victory with Yamaha is a memory that will stay in my heart forever.” – Andrea Dosoli, Yamaha Motor Europe Road Racing Manager
When asked to describe Toprak in one word the simple yet powerful answers were testament to the talent and determination he’s shown during the past four seasons with Yamaha…
For the victories, the joys, the humour and the humility. For everything you gave us. Thank you, Toprak.