Ducati DesertX conquers Iron Road Prologue at Erzbergrodeo

Ducati has scored a spectacular victory at the Erzbergrodeo, one of the most famous motorcycle enduro events in the world, with its DesertX machine taking the win in the Iron Road Prologue’s twin-cylinder category.

While the Desmosedici GP bike 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. Victory came thanks to enduro world champion Antoine Meo.

Used by more than 1200 riders to qualify for the “rodeo”, the Iron Road Prologue is divided into two sessions, and held on an ultra-fast climb (600m of gradient across 13.5km). Open to single and twin-cylinder bikes, it’s gruelling and hard-fought.

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Meo and the DesertX dominated both sessions, winning by 12 seconds on day one, and 20 seconds on day two, further confirming the potential of the Borgo Panigale twin. Having embraced the project from the start, he also took part in the Mitas Rocket Ride side race.

Working his way through two timed practice sessions and a series of heats on a steep and rugged uphill course, Meo took on 277 riders to finish fourth overall and first in the twin-cylinder category.

2023 Ducati DesertX at the Erzbergrodeo
2023 Ducati DesertX at the Erzbergrodeo

The DesertX is the first Ducati in history to be equipped with a 21-inch front wheel and 18-inch rear wheel and was designed to tackle the most challenging off-road terrain. It’s a responsive and agile bike, at ease on any type of route and road surface.

Its versatility is evident in the steel trellis frame chassis and multi-purpose tyre options. Powered by a liquid-cooled 937cc Testastretta 11-degree desmodromic engine producing 82kW of power and 92Nm of torque, it features optimised gear shifting.

Two riding modes designed specifically for off road racing are also included in a suite of rider options, while its 21-litire fuel tank ensures adequate range for longer journeys. An additional 8.0-litres can be added via an accessory second tank.

To be used for the Erzbergrodeo, the off road focused Ducati underwent some special modifications, including a revised fork and mono-shock for additional suspension travel. Metzeler Six Days Extreme tyres were chosen as part of the race preparations.

A Termignoni racing exhaust and a skid plate completed the package, and 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 raced by the bike maker.

2023 Ducati DesertX at the Erzbergrodeo
2023 Ducati DesertX at the Erzbergrodeo

To find out more about the Ducati DesertX, contact your local Ducati dealer.

Andrew Jenkin
Andrew Jenkin
Andrew Jenkin is the ride editor at Exhaust Notes Australia, founding editor of Two Wheel Addicts, a contributor at Bike Review and panel judge for Harley Davidson's Breakout Boss competition. Andrew has a love for anything on two wheels whether that be sports, naked or adventure bikes, with a guilty pleasure for cruisers.

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