He is the reigning world champion, therefore he is hunting for confirmations. Superbike restarts from Aragon and most of the spotlight is on Toprak Razgatlioglu. On the eve of the first World round, the Turk wanted to pay homage to us with this long 360-degree interview.
There was talk of Superbike, MotoGP, but also moments of particular moments that accompanied his life, such as the loss of his father Arif. At Motorland Toprak he shows up with number 1 on the front fairing, but humility and kindness are the same as when he made his debut with Puccetti.
Forget a young man mounted or exalted, El Turco is the same as always!
“I’m super focused for this season – began Toprak – obviously there is an expectation of me and I have worked hard over the winter to get ready. I would like to win in Aragon and Assen, the first two races of the season. But let’s see how it goes, because there are so many fast riders here (smiles) “.
Toprak, how much has your life changed after the title won in Mandalika?
“To tell the truth, it hasn’t changed much, I’m the old guy. Do you see me different? Maybe I’m a bit more polar in Turkey and I have one more title in my palmares (smiles) ”.
“Not for now, I’m single”.
How different is the current Toprak from the one that crossed 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: ior I wanted to race in SSP, I didn’t want to go to SBK after the Stock, because I would have liked to be Sofuoglu’s partner with Puccetti. Kenan, however, wanted me to race in SBK, since in his opinion I had the most suitable body. initially I did not take it well, in fact I was disappointed. 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.
“Let’s not say it, I can’t answer this question (he jokes)”.
Toprak, we always see you on the edge. Are you afraid 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 driver 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 make you a stubble, or rather I’ll make you 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 your father’s disappearance?
“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 it was. We went to his shop, where a friend of my father’s joined us. We knew he was going to another city with his motorcycle. Then we got that phone call ”.
If you want, let’s 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, faith has helped me to overcome his disappearance, 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 the world titles speak for him. 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 will 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 have talked to Fabio in the past. In my opinion Quartararo has a fantastic mentality and the title he won in 2021 took him home with his head. In addition to his wrist, his mind has made the difference “.
When do you try MotoGP?
“I still don’t know. I’m waiting (smiles)”.
Happy World Toprak!
“To all of you too! I hope you have fun”