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re: "it seems little point in being fast, if you risk running out of fuel."
actually, the original design intent of the seamless trans was to save millions of barrels of fuel in the high consumption world of automobiiles, the racing aspect is a secondary benefit. every once in awhile a piece of technology comes along that actually does what it says on the box.
they'll never come out and say it, but honda (the engine co) didn't like yamaha/furusawa throwing a blanket over their V5 "shock and awe" campaign... what we are witnessing is their response.