Originally Posted by Kropotkin
The fuel limits were pushed through by the MSMA, the Motorcycle Sports Manufacturers Association, at the request of Honda. Dorna protested, saying that they did not think it was a good idea, but Dorna were powerless. Under the contract signed with the MSMA collectively, the manufacturers had a monopoly over the technical rules. Any rule the MSMA proposed would go through automatically. That includes rules such as the 21 liter fuel limit, the switch to 800cc, the engine limits (6, which they want to reduce to 5).
I asked Nakamoto once how Honda would feel about a change to the fuel limit. He looked at me as if I had just offered to sleep with his grandmother. The fuel limits mean that the factories get to work on fuel delivery at part throttle openings, which, they claim, helps them develop better throttle response for their road bikes.
Now, blame Ezpeleta for the chronic lack of money in the series, the fact that they prefer to keep chronically poor teams in the series rather than rich, well-funded ones, and Dorna's propensity to persuade sponsors to leave teams and sponsor races. But Dorna has little to do with the technical rules so far. The rules they have imposed are the 81mm bore and maximum of 4 cylinders. They did this because they couldn't persuade the manufacturers to accept a rev limit.
All that changed when the agreement with the MSMA ran out at the end of 2011. Right now, the MSMA has the same influence over the technical regulations as Dorna does: they have one vote in the Grand Prix Commission, which consists of the MSMA, Dorna, the FIM and IRTA (teams). Now, Dorna can propose rule changes if the teams support them.
The current proposal for a spec ECU comes from Dorna, and would come with an increase of fuel to 24 liters (that didn't stop Petrucci from running out of fuel, however). Honda are threatening to quit over the spec ECU. The rev limit they can accept (just) but a spec ECU negates their ability to gain a competitive advantage merely by outspending the other factories.
One final little story about the MSMA and their amazing technical competence. Dorna asked the factories to come up with ways of saving money, and more especially, cutting the lease price of a satellite bike back to around a million dollars. The factories found it difficult, and eventually proposed adopting a single bike rule, as WSBK, Moto2 and Moto3 has. Dorna thanked them kindly and said they would submit a proposal to the Grand Prix Commission. Shortly before the GPC meeting, an MSMA representative had a meeting with IRTA and asked them urgently to vote against the single bike rule. They didn't really want the rule, and didn't think it would save that much, but as they'd put it forward, they couldn't very well take it back again. So by asking IRTA to vote against it, they ensured that it would not be adopted. That is the level of competence we are talking about: getting other people to vote against their own proposals, because those proposals turn out to be stupid. I should add that I have this story from first hand, directly from one of the parties involved, and it was corroborated by a second source.