Honda have admitted that they set their targets too low for the first year of 800cc bikes in MotoGP.
The reigning champions have struggled to keep pace at the front of the field, and world champion Nicky Hayden has had a particularly troubled start to the defence of his crown.
Satoru Horiike, managing director of Honda HRC, believes that there is a large room for improvement with the new RC212v machine, as the Repsol Honda team chase their first victory since last July.
"We must recognise that we made a mistake in setting our target, our bike needs a more powerful engine," he was quoted as saying by Italian magazine Motosprint.
"The limit we set ourselves for the first year of 800cc wasn't the right one. It was thought that the 800s would have taken more time to beat the 990s, but they managed it immediately.
"Our bike it not at the level it should be at this point of the season. We are improving top speed, but it is not enough."
Horiike has praised the efforts of Ducati, as the Italian team have been dominant so far this season with Casey Stoner.
"Ducati have done a very good job," he added. "Their bike is faster than ours, and their performance has pushed as to make a bigger-than-expected effort."
Hayden has struggled much more with the new bike than his teammate Dani Pedrosa, and Horiike admitted that the team are working hard with the American to improve his fortunes at the moment.
"Nicky is making a big effort to adapt to the bike," he said. "He's trying to change his riding style. For him this bike is harder than for Pedrosa, but we're trying to meet his needs."
Hayden is only ninth in the standings after four races this season. While Pedrosa is third, he is already 37 points adrift of Stoner, and 22 behind Valentino Rossi.
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