Honda Still Not Bullish on 2009 Chances

Although Honda finally scored its first win in the MotoGP this season, HRC Executive Vice-President Shuhei Nakamoto insisted that his team is yet unable to turn the table on the 2009 championship. However, Pedrosa's demanding yet struggling victory at Laguna Seca boosted the Repsol Honda team's morale ahead of the second part of the season.

As argued by Nakamoto, getting the new Bridgestone tires up to temperature has been Honda's main problem this season, as it caused the two factory Hondas to suffer from lack of grip throughout the 8 rounds of the 2009 season (probably the reason for so many crashes from both Pedrosa and Dovizioso).

Also, getting the best out of the Honda engine was also something Repsol team needs to figure out soon enough, as Nakamoto reckons they are still behind Yamaha and Ducati at that particular chapter.

This victory is down to the rider, not the bike. We are still late compared to the competition, but we are working hard to recover,” admitted Nakamoto in an interview with Italian newspaper Gazzetta dello Sport, talking about Pedrosa's win at the US GP.

There are many things to work on, including the engine. Our test rider Tady Okada gets on the track twice a month in order to try to find the best solutions. Compared to our rivals, we struggled more in understanding how to bring the Bridgestone tires up to temperature. But now we've gathered plenty of data and we think we've figured out the path to take,” added the Japanese official.

While confirming Repsol Honda will bring some slight, yet significant changes to their bike throughout the 2009 season, Nakamoto admitted they are all part of Honda's program to develop the 2010 bike. Data gathering from this year's championship will be decisive in creating a race winning machinery next year, confirmed the HRC vice.

Next year, in the first Sepang tests in February, we'll bring a completely new bike, for the works riders and the satellite teams,” added Nakamoto.
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