Althea Ducati team owner Genesio Bevilacqua believes the present World Superbike technical rules 'penalise' twin-cylinder motorcycles in terms of acceleration and top speed.

Bevilacqua made the comments after watching Carlos Checa finish as the top Ducati in both of Sunday's Assen races, albeit in fourth and sixth places.

"Today we saw the difference in speed between us and the four cylinders," he said. "I believe that with the current regulations it is almost impossible to do more with regard to acceleration and, above all, with regard to top speed. The rules penalise the twins."

Speaking after the races, Checa agreed with his boss.

"Unfortunately there was an obvious difference in acceleration between us and the four cylinders and we weren't 100% there with regard to the rideability of the bike," said the Spaniard, winner at the more flowing Phillip Island circuit. "Anyway the overall balance was not bad when you look at my results. We have a good package but we are lacking acceleration and speed compared to the four cylinders. I couldn't do more than I did but I'm still fourth in the standings, in what will be a long championship."

Acceleration isn't officially measured, but top speed figures for the two Assen races did show that Checa and team-mate Shane Byrne were suffering relative to the 'fours', although the factory 1198s of Michel Fabrizio and Noriyuki Haga were unsurprisingly closer to the top.

The bad news for Althea is that top speed will be especially important at the next round of the championship, at Monza.

Assen top speeds - race day

1. 289 km/h - Max Biaggi (Aprilia), Sylvain Guintoli (Suzuki).
2. 288 km/h - Cal Crutchlow (Yamaha)
3. 286 km/h - Jonathan Rea (Honda), Leon Haslam (Suzuki), Leon Camier (Aprilia), Michel Fabrizio (Ducati), James Toseland (Yamaha),
4. 285 km/h - Troy Corser (BMW), Noriyuki Haga (Ducati)
5. 284 km/h - Tom Sykes (Kawasaki), Max Neukirchner (Honda)
6. 282 km/h - Jakub Smrz (Ducati), Shane Byrne (Ducati), Lorenzo Lanzi (Ducati), Chris Vermeulen (Kawasaki)
7. 281 km/h - Carlos Checa (Ducati)
8. 279 km/h - Ruben Xaus (BMW), Broc Parkes (Honda)
9. 278 km/h - Luca Scassa (Ducati)
10. 275 km/h - Matteo Baiocco (Kawasaki)
11. 273 km/h - Roger Lee Hayden (Kawasaki)



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