Tyco Suzuki's John Hopkins made a promising start to his preparations for the MCE British Superbike Championship following an impressive return at Cartagena in Spain.

The American star had not ridden a bike in anger in 16 months but Hopkins was quickly back in the groove, lapping in the low 1m 35s bracket on the GSX-R1000.

Hopkins, who was joined by new team-mate Josh Waters plus British Supersport contender Taylor Mackenzie and international road racer William Dunlop at the test, said he exceeded his goals on his comeback.

"I think the test was really positive. We definitely achieved what we aimed to achieve, which was to get comfortable on the bike again and get myself back up to speed," Hopkins said.

"With so long away from racing I didn't have extreme expectations at Cartagena, but we met every expectation that I had set myself and maybe a bit more; and the base setting on the Tyco Suzuki was really good.

"The boys did a great job with the bike right off the bat. We hardly changed anything over the course of the four days. Yeah, we made some minor tweaks and adjustments to smooth things out, which then helped me to lower my lap-time on each of the four days, so it was very successful," added the former Suzuki MotoGP rider.

"It's a great team and I've always enjoyed hanging out with guys from Northern Ireland so it's been really positive."



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