The Ducati DesertX conquers the Iron Road Prolog at the Erzbergrodeo with Antoine Meo
June 14, 2023 Off

The Ducati DesertX conquers the Iron Road Prolog at the Erzbergrodeo with Antoine Meo

By MRWadmin

The Ducati DesertX has achieved a spectacular victory in the twin-cylinder category of one of the most famous motorcycle enduro events in the world: the Erzbergrodeo. While the Desmosedici GP and Pecco Bagnaia were dominating the MotoGP Italian Grand Prix at Mugello, another Ducati was tackling the gruelling course of the Austrian iron ore quarry event. The DesertX ridden by Antoine Meo (multiple Enduro world champion and European Supercross champion) in fact took the win in the Erzberg Iron Road Prolog. Meo, who has embraced the DesertX project right from the start, also took part in the Mitas Rocket Ride side race, finishing fourth overall and first in the twin-cylinder category.

The Iron Road Prolog is the race used by the over 1200 riders entered in the “Rodeo” to qualify for the final event. Divided into two sessions, it is held on an ultra-fast climb (over 600 meters of gradient for 13.5 km) for single and twin-cylinder bikes and, thanks to its spectacular nature, over the years it has become one of the most hard-fought and eagerly awaited races of the entire event. In the Iron Road Prolog, the dominance of Meo and the DesertX was overwhelming, with a double victory in the category reserved for twin cylinders. In Friday’s race, the advantage over his closest rival was no less than 12 seconds while in the second race, on Saturday, with a track made even more difficult by the passage of the bikes, the margin rose to 20 seconds, further confirming the potential of the Borgo Panigale twin. The DesertX thus demonstrated its sporting characteristics on one of the most demanding courses in the world that exalted the performance of the Ducati engine while underlining the quality of the chassis.

The Mitas Rocket Ride, a race open to single and twin-cylinder bikes, saw 277 riders challenge each other on a steep and rugged uphill course. The format of the race included two timed practice sessions from which the 48 fastest riders then went on to challenge each other in heats of 6 starting from the gate in motocross style and in a knock-out for the last 3. In this race Antoine Meo rode with determination right from the qualifying phase to finish sixteenth out of the 277 entrants. He then finished second in the last-16 round, third in the quarterfinals and second in the semifinals. These results allowed him to qualify for the Superfinal, the only rider to do so on a twin-cylinder, and there the French ace and the Ducati DesertX conquered a surprising fourth place overall.

The DesertX is the first Ducati in history equipped with a 21-inch front wheel and an 18-inch rear wheel and is a bike designed to tackle the most challenging off-road terrain. A dedicated off-road development combined with Ducati’s road expertise have resulted in a responsive and agile bike, at ease on any type of route and road surface. Ergonomics and aerodynamic studies have produced a motorcycle that has off-road as its natural territory and which is at the same time comfortable, easy and safe for travel and urban commuting.

To tackle the Erzbergrodeo, the DesertX ridden by Antoine Meo was modified to enhance its off-road aptitude. The fork and monoshock were revised to offer more suspension travel. As for the tyres, the choice fell upon the Metzeler Six Days Extreme, specifically designed for extreme enduro racing. The preparation of the DesertX was completed by mounting a Termignoni racing exhaust and a skid plate offered as original accessories from the Ducati Performance catalogue. To participate in the Erzberg, the Centro Stile Ducati designed a special livery for the DesertX that combines the white, the black and the three reds typical of the MotoGP and Superbikes.

The versatility of the DesertX is evident in the chassis, based on a steel trellis frame with long suspension travel suitable for any route, but also in the triple homologation for the tyres, which allows you to choose between different possibilities: from more off-road oriented options to others that favour riding on the road.

The heart of the new DesertX is instead the much-loved liquid-cooled 937 cc Testastretta 11° desmodromic engine with 110 hp at 9,250 rpm and a maximum torque value of 92 Nm at 6,500 rpm, optimized for specific gearshift use, and in the electronic equipment, which sees the introduction of two Riding Modes specifically designed for off-road riding.

An adequate range for longer journeys is guaranteed by a fuel tank with a capacity of over 21 litres and by the possibility of mounting a second tank in the rear part of the bike as an accessory, adding a further 8 litres of fuel.