[Ducati]

DUCATI WINS ERZBERGRODEO PROLOGUE – AGAIN!

1 week ago | Words: Matt Holmes | Photos: Ducati Media House

Ducati and Antoine Meo return to Austria’s infamous ErzbergRodeo to once again showcase the capabilities of the new DesertX Rally model on the Iron Giant’s inhospitable terrain.

Want an indication of Ducati’s dedication to the world of off-road competition? Look no further than the ground-breaking DesertX Rally which, in Antoine Meo’s capable hands, took another victory against those tough (or sadomasochist) enough to point a twin-cylinder ADV machine up the Iron Giant in the prologue of Austria’s extreme classic, ErzbergRodeo. Not only that; Meo also managed to finish 16th Overall out of more than 1300 riders.

The Iron Road Prologue is the qualifier that over 1300 riders registered for the “Rodeo” are required to do to make their way to the main event. Divided into two sessions, it takes place on an ultra-fast mining road climb (more than 600 metres of altitude, over 13.5km) where single and twin-cylinder motorbikes compete. And, thanks to its spectacular nature, it has now become one of the most hotly contested and eagerly awaited races of the entire event.

While social footage showed Meo being landed on by another bike early in the weekend, the Ducati test rider and five-time World Enduro Champion managed to get himself back on board and hammer out the climb, eventually taking the win. And in doing so, he set the best time in the twin-cylinder class against some solid competition, including a prototype 790 from the KTM group.

This result allowed Antoine Meo and his DesertX Rally to line up on the front row for ErzbergRodeo’s final event on Sunday, with Meo stopping only after passing through the first few checkpoints – after which the extreme route makes it impossible to lug a big twin bike any further.

Meo’s bike was prepared for the race adding only a Ducati Performance racing exhaust and eliminating one of the two front brake discs for weight saving on the uphill course. The competitiveness of the DesertX Rally was further underlined by the performances of Patrick Neisser and Simon Marcic, riding two bikes entered by the Ducati dealer, Rosenberger of Graz, who finished the Iron Road Prologue among the twins in fourth and eighth place, respectively.

Incidentally, the success at the ErzbergRodeo completed a historic Sunday for Ducati, which scored a 1-2 win in the hands of Pecco Bagnaia and Enea Bastianini in MotoGP at the Italian Grand Prix, and also confirms Ducati’s growing commitment to off-road racing competition – a commitment that will continue with the second stage of the Italian MotoRally championship in Foligno (PG) on June 29-30, where the protagonist will once again be Antoine Meo flanked by Antonio Polidoro, both on DesertX Rally machinery.

Lucky for us, the Iron Giant livery on Antoine’s bike is exactly what we’ll be able to get our hands on very soon with the production bike’s impending arrival…

RIDE ON BOARD WITH MEO…

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