He is the reigning world champion, so he will do everything possible to confirm the title this year. The Superbike restarts from Aragon and most of the spotlight is on Toprak Razgatlioglu. On the eve of the first round of the World Championship, the Turk wanted to pay tribute to us with this long interview covering a wide range of subjects.
We were talking about Superbike, MotoGP, but also special moments that accompanied his life, such as the loss of his father Arif. At Motorland, Toprak showed up with the #1 on the front fascia, but his humility and kindness are still the same as when he debuted with Puccetti.
Forget a young man whose title went to his head, the Turk is still the same!
“I’m super focused for this season – started Toprak – obviously there are a lot of expectations around me and I worked hard this winter to be ready. I would like to win at 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 winning the title in Mandalika?
“To be honest, it hasn’t changed much, I’m the same. Do you see me different? Maybe I’m a little more popular in Turkey and I have one more title on my list (smile)”.
Do you have a fiancée?
“Not at the moment, I’m single”.
What is the difference between the current Toprak and the one that entered the SBK paddock for the first time?
“At first I was shy, reserved, today I let myself go a little more. But there is a background that I want to tell: I wanted to race in Supersport, I didn’t want to go to Superbike afterwards. Stock, because I wanted to be Sofuoglu’s partner with Puccetti. Kenan, however, wanted me to race in SBK, because in his opinion I had the right physique. At first, I didn’t take it well, actually 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 (smile)”.
Now it is you who must teach Kenan’s lessons.
“You mustn’t say that, I can’t answer that 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 cycling as a pleasure. Obviously I always seek the limit, but without exceeding it. I am a rider who likes to fight, to fight a duel, obviously respecting the opponent. It’s my mentality, which has been with me since I was a child.”
Can you cook us a kebab?
” Absolutely not ! If you want, I’ll make you a stoppie, 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 difficult 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 looked 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 joined us. We knew he was going to another city with his bike. Then we got this phone call.”
If you want, we can change the subject.
“No, it’s not necessary. Two years ago, I probably would have struggled to talk about it, now I’m more serene. These days have been difficult. I am a Muslim, my faith helped me overcome his death, although I do not wish anyone to be left without a father”.
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 that. Rea, on the other hand, is a very strong rider and his world titles speak for themselves. So far there has only been testing and many have not been As you well know, races matter and we will see what the situation will be. My objective will be to fight to win, aware 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 spoke to them, but in the end I preferred to stay here”.
If Lin Jarvis offered you the M1 for 2023, what would you do?
“Why not? I’m here. But I would like an official bike (smile), 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, the official Quartararo M1 suffers.
“In my opinion, the bike is not bad. I have spoken to Fabio in the past. In my opinion, Quartararo has a fantastic mentality and the title he won in 2021, he won with his head. In addition to his wrist, his mind made the difference.”
When are you going to try the MotoGP motorcycle?
“I still don’t know. I’m waiting (smile)”.
Happy Toprak Championship!
“Same for all of you too! Hope you enjoy it”