Ben Spies is confident that Yamaha can regain the ground it has lost to Honda over the winter, despite acknowledging that the Hondas are currently the class of the field.
Honda was quickest in every preseason test and won the opening round in Qatar with Casey Stoner, although Yamaha's Jorge Lorenzo was second. Spies believes Honda's much-discussed new gearshift mechanism is key to its advantage, and that having Stoner and Dani Pedrosa pushing each other is also helping. But does not believe its advantage will be impossible to overcome.
"Everybody can see they're fast," said Spies. "Obviously for me following them they seem to have found something with the gear changes – something's different or better.
"Last year we saw spurts when the bike was good, but now it seems a lot more consistent and they've got two really fast guys on them pushing each other for supremacy, and I know what that does to a team, too. But in saying that, MotoGP is a prototype class – a manufacturer can rule for a weekend, a year, two years or whatever.
"As long as you do the right things and try to make the bike better, you can turn stuff around pretty quick, so that's what we're hoping, and we'll keep working on our package and try to make it quicker."
A lack of power has been cited as Yamaha's main issue, but Spies played this down and said chassis performance factors could make up for this.
"You get a lot of consistency and a well-rounded package, and that's what we've got now," he said. "We definitely want to work on acceleration, whether that's the motor, grip or corner speed that enables you to be fast on the straight...I don't care where it comes from, but we need to get more acceleration.
"You can see that by watching the race and that's stuff that we can definitely fix – maybe not overnight, but we're working on it."