The Spanish sports daily AS.com has an interview with HRC boss Satoru Horiike, in which the man ultimately responsible for the new 800 cc Honda RC212V admits that Honda got their assumptions completely wrong when designing the new Honda. "We were surprised at the times the new bikes ran. We believed that it would take quite a while for the 800s to equal the times set by the 990s, but the 800s have been faster right from the start." Hondas have traditionally been the most powerful bikes on the grid, the engineering might and brilliance of HRC finding ways to generate more power than their rivals in previous years. But this time they underestimated what was needed, leaving them struggling behind the other factories, and Ducati in particular.
But it's not just a lack of power which is hampering the Honda. The chassis has also failed to impress, with all of the Honda riders complaining of a lack of front-end feel and rear-end grip. Horiike has promised that HRC are working on solutions, for both engine and chassis troubles. Veteran test rider Tady Okada is hard at work, testing upgrades. These include changes to both inlet and exhaust tracts, aimed at producing more power, as well as new rear shock mounts to improve handling.