Alex de Angelis has confirmed that the factory spec RC212V used by San Carlo Honda Gresini team-mate Toni Elias is 'completely different' to his satellite machine.

The promise of factory equipment was instrumental in tempting Elias back to Gresini after a season at Pramac Ducati but, with all Honda riders getting a pneumatic-valve engine for 2009, there had been doubts as to just how different Toni's machine would actually be.

Whilst stating that the new satellite RCV is very different from last year's customer bike, de Angelis maintains that it is still a long way off the factory machines of Elias and official HRC riders Dani Pedrosa and Andrea Dovizioso.

"The new [satellite] bike is very, very different from last year," said de Angelis, speaking exclusively to "The character of the engine is very, very different. Low down there is no push. The top part is very good, but only the top part.

"My bike is completely different from Toni's - the chassis, electronics, link, airbox, silencer, many things. He also has more revs..."

The satellite bikes are rumoured to have had a rev limit imposed for the 2009 season, but de Angelis wouldn't be drawn on exactly what the rev difference between factory and satellite Honda currently is.

"A lot!" he smiled.

de Angelis finished the Sepang test as the top satellite Honda rider in eleventh position, but was six places and almost one second behind Elias.

The San Marinese, who claimed fourth position twice during his debut MotoGP season, explained that several of Sepang's corners were particularly punishing for his power delivery.

"The lack of engine push low down makes it difficult for set-up and feeling. I was one second faster on [day three] but still I am a long way from the top," confessed Alex, who lapped 1.480sec behind Ducati's Casey Stoner.

"This track is not good for my bike because there are many slow corners and when I open the throttle the engine is slow to pick up. But I hope that at Qatar, which is more flowing, it will be possible to push more."

By contrast, Colin Edwards has revealed that the new Yamaha YZR-M1 has much stronger low and middle range grunt than last year, making it 'like a 990' to ride (see separate story).

Honda may yet improve the character of the customer RCV power delivery, but de Angelis does not know when.

"I don't have any communication from Honda yet about when any new parts will arrive," he said.

The next pre-season test will take place in Qatar from March 1-3, with the first race of 2009 also at the Losail circuit on April 12.



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