5 hours in the past | Phrases: Matt Holmes | Pictures: Ducati Media Home

Taking over the Pink Bull ErzbergRodeo and ending is one factor. Doing it aboard Ducati’s 110hp, 937cc DesertX (and taking a win) is one other factor altogether!

Ducati’s DesertX has achieved a historic win within the twin-cylinder class at one of many hardest enduro occasions on the planet, the ErzbergRodeo. So, whereas the Desmosedici GP and Pecco Bagnaia have been dominating MotoGP’s Italian Grand Prix at Mugello, one other Ducati was making brief work of the ball-busting course on the notorious Austrian iron ore quarry. The DesertX ridden by Antoine Meo (five-time Enduro World Champion and former European Supercross Champion) took the win within the Erzberg Iron Highway Prolog in opposition to the likes of Pol Tarres and Matthias Walkner.

The ‘Iron Highway Prolog’ is the qualifier for the 1200 or so riders entered within the “Rodeo”, all within the identify of whittling the sector down for the ultimate occasion. Divided into two classes, it’s held on an ultra-fast climb (greater than 600m of vertical over a 13.5km distance) for single- and twin-cylinder bikes and, because of its spectacular nature, it has change into some of the hard-fought and eagerly awaited races of the complete occasion.

Along with his double victory within the class reserved for twin-cylinder bikes, Meo’s dominance was simple. In Friday’s race, the benefit over his closest rival was at least 12 seconds, whereas within the second race, on Saturday, with a observe made much more tough by the passage of so many bikes, the margin rose to twenty seconds; additional confirming the potential of the Borgo Panigale twin.

The ‘Mitas Rocket Trip’, a race open to single- and twin-cylinder bikes, noticed 277 riders tackle the steep and brutal uphill course. The format of the race included two timed follow classes from which the 48 quickest riders, then went on to problem one another in heats of six (ranging from an MX-style gate), knocking out the final three riders throughout the road. Antoine Meo rode like he was possessed proper from qualifying to make the ultimate 16 out of the 277 entrants. He then managed second within the last-16 spherical, third within the quarterfinals, and second within the semis. This moved him by way of to the Superfinal, making him the one rider to do it on a twin-cylinder. And there, the French legend took an epic fourth place general.

To tackle the Iron Big, each Meo and fellow Ducati rider, Patrick Neisser, made certain the DesertX was modified to reinforce its off-road chops. The KYB fork and shock have been revised to supply extra journey, and as for the tyres, the selection fell upon the Metzeler Six Days Excessive. An added chunk of useable energy was added through the Termignoni racing exhaust, and a beefier skidplate was swapped in for extra safety – each straight from the Ducati Efficiency catalogue. And in true Italian type, the Centro Stile design hub of Ducati created a particular livery for the DesertX that mixed the white, the black and the three reds discovered on Ducati’s MotoGP and WSBK bikes.

This yr’s consequence at Erzberg certain bodes properly for the way forward for journey and off-road Ducati fashions!

Give Antoine’s Insta a look-see. It’s filled with epic content material, particularly this race with the opposite big-twin enduro rider making massive bikes appear to be trials bikes, Pol Tarres.