Dani Pedrosa’s mentor Alberto Puig believes the Spaniard will return to winning ways once Honda’s new factory RC212V gets major improvements.
The triple world champion is still winless in 2007 as he’s battled with a range of problems on Honda’s new factory 800cc V4 machine.
But Puig told MCN when the bike is ready to win, Pedrosa will be able to show his true potential as well as he admitted that rivals factories Ducati and Yamaha were more competitive at the moment.
“We know we are not ready. But even though you are not ready you can’t stop trying. When we are ready we will be ready to fight,” said Puig, who added he wasn’t surprised at the stunning start made by Ducati.
The Italian factory has won three out of the five races and Casey Stoner is already 40-points clear of Pedrosa going into this weekend’s Italian GP in Mugello.
Puig added: “I’m not surprised. They just have a good package of bike, tyres and rider. At this moment frankly speaking we are not in a level where we can say we are competing with them.
“We don’t have a good package. When we have a good package and we are fighting in the same condition then we will see, but in this moment we are a step behind.
“The bike is good and the tyres are working well for them. They are doing what they should do, winning races.”
Puig denied being alarmed at Honda’s slow start to 2007, but admitted it was obvious that the Japanese factory was behind.
“It is clear that we are not happy. You must live with it and we believe that Honda can improve and make a better machine for Dani. We believe they will come back with some good potential,” said Puig, who added Pedrosa had a different complaint to his RC212V counterparts.
While most Honda riders have complained about a lack of confidence in the front-end, Puig says Pedrosa’s troubles have been with a lack of rear traction.
“Dani has never had a problem with the front. His problem is rear traction. We can only wait to see if we can improve our package. That is the only we can do,” he said.
Puig though believes Pedrosa is now the complete MotoGP rider, having finally exorcised some of his rain demons in Le Mans earlier this month.
Pedrosa has previously had a nightmare in wet conditions but made his big breakthrough in a rain-lashed French GP when he claimed fourth place.
Puig said: “He had a good combination with the bike and tyres and he is trying to learn.
“I was very happy because normally we are not so happy in the rain and it was a really big effort for him. He made two steps up so that’s what makes us happy and it is clearly good news for us.”
A renowned talent-spotter who has set British starlet Bradley Smith on the world championship trail, Puig also played a hand in helping Stoner when he first came to race in Europe as a raw 15-year-old.
Puig said it was no big shock that Stoner had made such an impact and added: “It’s nothing that surprised me. I knew Casey was very fast, so especially with a big machine and he is proving that he has big potential.
“He made a good machine and he has natural talent, so the result is there and I’m glad for him.”