Honda chassis is major weak point, says HRC boss

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Honda boss Shuhei Nakamoto has admitted that this year’s factory chassis was the major weak point of the 2009 RC212V.

Dani Pedrosa and Andrea Dovizioso complained throughout last season of problems getting the RC212V to handle well on corner entry.

The Repsol Honda team only won three out of 17 races last season and at the end of the campaign Pedrosa tested a new chassis in the post-Valencia test session.

Pedrosa and Dovizioso will also run Ohlins and not Showa suspension in 2010 in a bid to solve some of Honda’s handling issues.

Nakamoto told MCN: “The chassis is a weak area for us. But also with the engine side we have had a problem with driveability. Top range, maybe Honda’s engine is a little bit stronger than Yamaha’s engine. But overall, maybe not as strong as Yamaha.”

Pedrosa was unable to make a clear judgement on the new chassis he tried in Valencia because he was making only his second appearance using Ohlins suspension.

The Spaniard, who finished third in the overall world championship standings, said: “I wasn’t able to make a clear judgement on the new chassis because the suspension is so different. I don’t know exactly where the feelings are coming from, whether it is the chassis or the suspension.”

Pedrosa will be back on track when 2010 winter testing resumes in Sepang in early February.

Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt