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There has been a lot of death this year in motorcycle racing. At Mugello, Jason Dupasquier crashed and was hit by another rider during qualifying for the Moto3 race, and died in the early hours of the following morning.

At Aragon, during the European Talent Cup race held at a round of the FIM CEV championship, Hugo Millán crashed during the race and was hit by another bike, dying as a result of his injuries.

And yesterday, during the WorldSSP300 race at Jerez, Dean Berta Viñales crashed at Turn 2 and was hit by another rider, dying in hospital a few hours later. Dupasquier was 19, Millán was 14, Viñales 15.

The deaths – three teenagers in the space of less than four months – led to a great deal of introspection in the racing world, and concerns over what should be done to prevent this from happening again.

A lot of people had a lot of ideas, but the thing that strikes me about these deaths is that, as good as some ideas might be, there are no easy answers.

Starting next Thursday, Ducati will be debuting a new motorcycle for the 2022 model year every two weeks. The releasing event culminates on December 9th, and we already know what bike will capstone Ducati's new model debut: the Ducati DesertX. For those that didn't get the memo, the following is the schedule and teasing title for Ducati's six-part unveiling schedule online:
  • September 30, 2021 - "Your everyday wonder"
  • October 14, 2021 - "Mark your roots"
  • October 28, 2021 - "Rule all mountains"
  • November 11, 2021 - "A new Fighter in town"
  • November 25, 2021 - "The evolution of Speed"
  • December 9, 2021 - "Dream Wilder - DesertX"
As we can see, Ducati is being less obvious with some of its debuts than others, but with some insight into what the Italian brand has been up to, and which bikes it updated and debuted last year, we can reasonably discern what to expect in the coming weeks.

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The name “DesertX” should be a familiar moniker for Ducatisti, as the Desert X concept was the belle of the ball at the 2019 EIMCA show.

Back then though, the Desert X was a concept bike built under the Scrambler Ducati name, and it featured a 1,079cc air-cooled v-twin engine.

Oh, how things have changed! Now being teased for a December 9th debut, it would seem that the Italians have done more than reformat the name, and that makes us very happy.

The weather cooperated for the second and final day of the Misano MotoGP test.

It stayed dry and warm all day, which meant everyone got the track time they were looking for. In the case of Maverick Viñales, that was a lot of track time: the Aprilia rider racked up 109 laps, a grand total of 460.6 kilometers.

Equivalent to Misano to Turin, London to Paris, Dallas, Texas to San Antonio, Texas.

The problem with all that track time, of course, is that a lot of rubber gets laid down. That adds oodles of grip, making conditions ideal for MotoGP machines.

The folks at Suzuki have a surprise for us today, showing off one of their 2022 models a bit earlier than expected. The bike is the Suzuki GSX-S1000GT – a long-distance sport-tourer built off the GSX-S1000 platform.

That pedigree means that the Suzuki GSX-S1000GT is built off the “K6” GSX-R1000 engine, and should make about 150hp in US trim, with 78 lbs•ft of torque on tap from its inline-four engine. Wet weight is set at 498 lbs (226 kg).

The World Supersport field is ripe for change, and that shouldn’t be new or surprising information for anyone following the space.

This is because the 600cc inline-four market has disappeared, especially in Europe, leaving the middleweight class with an uncertain future in racing.

Where there is an absence, there is a vacuum, and the space being left behind by the Japanese supersports is being filled rapidly by European twin and three-cylinder offerings.