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Hopkins: We'll take Kawasaki to the top.

"On the whole this week's gone really good," reflected John. "We've had some more new parts here. It's been pretty much hit-and-miss; some things good and some things bad. Pretty much off and on, but for the most part the pros are outweighing the cons - that's the main thing.

"The overall package has tremendous potential," he continued. "Unfortunately right now we're having some small mechanical issues that are making it a little hard to deliver on that potential. We're having a few little clutch problems. It's something that should be easily fixed. It'll be good - especially when we have the new motor in our bike."

Hopkins left the Sepang test with the fifth fastest lap time, using a Bridgestone qualifying tyre, and having had his first chance to circulate alongside a full line-up of 2008 factory machines.

For many of his previous seasons in MotoGP, Hopkins was forced to over-ride through the corners in order to compensate for a power deficit - but it seems that the 24-year-old could experience life in the MotoGP 'fast lane' in 2008, thanks to the "surprising" power output from the ZX-RR's pneumatic-valve engine.

"We're fairing out pretty well against the other bikes," stated Hopkins, when asked how things were looking out on track. "I'm still surprised at the amount of horsepower that the machine has and, from what I'm hearing about the new motor, that's going to be improved even further.

"I'm extremely happy with it all and just looking forward to continuing on and trying different circuits. Malaysia is difficult to actually get a true judgement about what's going to be good and what isn't.

"Once we get to Phillip Island and Jerez and Qatar, then we'll have a clear understanding of what kind of a position we'll be in right away," he concluded.

The Phillip Island test starts on January 30 and will see Hopkins and team-mate Anthony West ride with Monster Energy livery on the side of their ZX-RRs for the first time.

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Hopkins, Sepang MotoGP Test January 2008
Hopkins and Suzuki, Sepang MotoGP Test January 2008
Hopkins, Sepang MotoGP Test January 2008
Cal Crutchlow at Austria test (pic: LCR).
Cal Crutchlow at Austria test (pic: LCR).
Eugene Laverty at Austria test (pic: Aspar).
Sam Lowes at Austria test (pic: Aprilia)
Sam Lowes at Austria test (pic: Aprilia)
Casey Stoner at Austria test (pic: Ducati)
Andrea Dovizioso at Austria test (pic: Ducati)
Andrea Iannone at Austria test (pic: Ducati)
Iannone at Austria test *pic: Ducati).
Sam Lowes tests Aprilia
Kallio tests KTM (© Philip Platzer KTM Media Library)
Randy de Puniet tests KTM at Brno (pic: KTM)
Vinales tests wings on his Suzuki (pic: Suzuki)
Multi wings on Marquez`s Honda at Jerez test (Honda)
Moto2 fuel tank, Qatar Moto2 test 2016

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