John Hopkins has compared his initial feeling on the ePayMe Yamaha to older specification MotoGP machinery and is full of optimism for the new season.
After missing out on a full-time ride at the start of the 2015, Hopkins has secured a ride with Tommy Hill's ePayMe Yamaha squad who have taken up last year's BSB championship-winning YZF-R1 machines from Shaun Muir Racing.
The American rider says he is in love with the Yamaha and has drawn comparisons to the specification of bike he rode at the end of his MotoGP career with its engine performance and chassis.
"The first outing was basically about getting rider set-up, the entire morning we have done three timed laps due to the sessions. Within those I really love the bike - I absolutely love it,” Hopkins told britishsuperbike.com. “It feels like a proper race bike. There were a few minor adjustments we had to make in the morning to sort out levers and footrests and things like that but the actual bike itself feels amazing; the power delivery, the chassis, the only thing I can remotely compare that to is back riding the latest version I rode back in 11/12 on the MotoGP bike.
"The way it feels and the rigidity of it, I felt riding last year's bike I had the quote that it felt like a proper race bike. To me, this feels like even another step and such a nice proper race bike.”
After working on set-up and adjusting to the ePayMe Yamaha, Hopkins is certain the bike has a massive potential within it and is aiming to emulate Josh Brookes' charge to the 2015 BSB crown on the same machinery.
“I feel there are a lot of things that can be done from where we are at now at this point, which is really good,” he said. “We can fine tune and adjust to suit each track with more time but my initial feeling is really, really good."