John Hopkins has praised his factory Kawasaki team as he prepares to make his 100th MotoGP appearance in Shanghai this weekend.
Hopkins, who scored his career first rostrum finish in China last season while riding for the Rizla Suzuki team, believes Kawasaki has the ability to develop quicker than his former team.
Hopkins scored his best Kawasaki result with fifth place on the ZX-RR in the last race in Estoril, and he told MCN: “I knew from the start that Kawasaki were determined.
“One thing I noticed with Suzuki was they went in levels. They hit a performance peak and once they hit a performance peak then it was hard for them to surpass that.
“They couldn’t make gradual steps every time. We never really improved our situation last year.
“They came out with a good 800 and could run at the front but we never really improved. The motor never changed but Bridgestone got better.
“That was one thing that I noticed a lot about my time there. Kawasaki opened my eyes and they have a lot of support from Japan right now and seem to move forward quicker.