Honda and Yamaha, which have won every MotoGP race since the end of 2010, will have an extra two litres of race fuel next season.

The revised 22-litre limit arrives alongside a single ECU system, replacing bespoke software from each Factory manufacturer. While Ducati, Suzuki and Aprilia are currently allowed up to 24 litres of fuel, Honda and Yamaha are restricted to 20 litres.

With top speeds already at record levels - Ducati's Andrea Iannone reached 349.6km/h (217.2mph) during practice for last year's Italian Grand Prix - how much of an impact will the extra fuel make on those at the very front of the field?

"Honda and Yamaha will have two litres more fuel but according to my knowledge it is very difficult to save fuel in top power," Corrado Cecchinelli, MotoGP's director of technology, told "Normally they save fuel under braking and acceleration. So I don't think it will make a big difference in top speed."

And in terms of 2016 lap times, Cecchinelli made clear that the ECU and fuel pales into insignificance alongside the move from Bridgestone to Michelin rubber.

"The lap times may change by two seconds because of the tyres. But if we take away everything but the tyres, I think the performance will be very close to today. Our [single ECU] software will in general have less performance than a specific factory software, but having more fuel will help in that. So it will be more or less balanced.

"So everything but the tyres will be more or less the same. Put it this way, you will never be able to detect the one hundredth of a second change due to all the rest, compared to two seconds from the tyres."

Cecchinelli added: "Having said that, yes, top speed is of course a concern. But we have to be, let's say, not too emotional about it. Top speed numbers are big and so they scare but it is very rare that you have an accident at top speed. Also I remember one or two of them - maybe because of a tyre problem - but, by chance, the outcome was thankfully not serious.

"So top speed is a concern but it is not the most dangerous scenario in terms of an accident. Yes we would like to do something. We would like to have a medium-term plan to, if not reduce, at least 'roof' top speed. But this topic is at the moment on the table of the manufacturers because there are very easy ways to do it, which they do not like..."

A rev limit?

"Yes. The rev limiter is clearly something that would help many aspects. One is limiting top speed but also engines would be cheaper, you could race with less engines and matching fuel limitation would be easier. It would really save money and it would be a very good way to close the technical gap between the top guys and the others.

"But at the moment we are the only ones pushing in that direction. So what is so far agreed with the manufacturers is, 'yes, top speed is a concern and please let us have your opinion in the medium term'. Not tomorrow."

"By the way pneumatic valves are useless with a lower rev limit," Cecchinelli added. "This is one other added value of the lower rev limit. [Ducati's] desmodromic system is less effective [at lower revs] and pneumatic valves are useless. So again you force manufacturers to invest in more road relevant areas."

While the other manufacturers could go back to using spring-valve systems, what about Ducati? Are they the main opponents of a rev limit?

"That is not true. I can tell you that they are not the strongest one against the rev limit. Let's put it that way."

And if a rev limit came in, Ducati could still use their desmodromic valve system and not face a significant disadvantage to the others?

"That's right."

Cecchinelli should know. Before being appointed MotoGP's director of technology in 2011 he was vice director general of Ducati Corse and technical director of the Italian MotoGP team.

"Yes, I know the desmo system well," Cecchinelli confirmed. "Let's say the difference between the desmo and the pneumatic-valve timing system is that the desmo is on the road production bikes anyway and can be marketed as reducing friction and saving fuel at any speed.

"This is why they [Ducati] are not so strongly against a rev limiter because anyway they would go with the desmo and they would not lose the marketing issue or other technical advantages like less friction and less fuel."

Cecchinelli's previous Ducati responsibilities involved working on technical regulations inside the manufacturers' association (MSMA).

Now on the opposite side of the table, and assuming pneumatic valves would disappear with a rev limit, would he like seamless-shift gearboxes banned on the grounds that they are also highly expensive and lack road relevance?

"I would like to, but we don't believe it is fair to ban anything that is already in use unless everybody has it and they all agree. Which is not the situation at the moment. I think that if tomorrow everybody had it and if it could be proven that it is not road relevant, possibly it would be the time to say 'okay get rid of it'. But not now. It would be unfair to those that first develop a technology."

You have to wait for everybody to have something, before you can try to ban it?

"It may sound like a paradox but it is like this. You have to wait until everybody has it because when it is standard and it is proven that it is useless you can remove it from everybody. But not before then. I don't know if it will ever happen. Because if and when everybody will have it, there will still be somebody feeling his gearbox is better and will be against removing it.

"This is what I mean by proven to be road relevant. Because if one day it will go into production I would not be in favour of removing it from races. Let's imagine that next year everybody will have it but in five years nobody will have it in production. Then I think it would be sensible to remove it from races.

"But the important thing to remember is that anything we may or may not do only happens after a lot of discussion and by bringing together the many conflicting interests."


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