HRC Executive Vice-President Shuhei Nakamoto says the Repsol Honda team is still behind its rivals despite Dani Pedrosa's victory at the United States Grand Prix.
The Spanish rider led the Laguna Seca race from start to finish to give Honda its first win of the 2009 season after a disappointing first part of the championship.
But despite the breakthrough win, Nakamoto reckons Honda has a lot of work to do if it wants to fight on equal terms with the faster bikes.
"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," Nakamoto was quoted as saying by Gazzetta dello Sport.
"Our problem isn't just the chassis. 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.
"You won't notice the modifications, but there will be some in the next grands prix, even though I can't say when we will field them on the track.
"Compared to our rivals, we struggled more in understanding how to bring the Bridgestone tyres up to temperature. But now we've gathered plenty of data and we think we've figured out the path to take.
"Next year, in the first Sepang tests in February, we'll bring a completely new bike, for the works riders and the satellite teams."
Nakamoto also played down suggestions that Honda is interested in hiring Jorge Lorenzo, claiming the team wants to retain both Pedrosa and teammate Andrea Dovizioso.
"Our idea is to re-sign both riders, but we are not in a hurry. We can even do it at Valencia, the last race of the season."