No More Motorcycles at Pikes Peak?

No More Motorcycles at Pikes Peak?

Following the heartbreaking fatal crash of Carlin Dunne on the Ducati V4 Streetfighter Prototype at this year’s Pikes Peak International Hill Climb, organisers have declared that motorcycles will not be part of the 2020 event, with a decision pending if they will return at all in the future of the event.

Famed racer Carlin Dunne lost control of his bike within sight of the finish-line at the event this year, after hitting a big bump in the road surface that threw his machine out of control and catapulted him off the cliff. Racing veteran Dunne had qualified in pole position on the brand new bike, and was on his way to setting a new motorcycle speed record when he crashed. He was no stranger to going fast, having won the event four times in the past, as well as having 2 Baja wins and 3 World Records credited to his name. An investigation into the crash deemed that there was no mechanical failure on his Ducati.

The Pikes Peak race is now more than a century old, and is the second longest-running race event in America. Motorcycles participated in the very first event in 1916, and have been part of 41 of the event’s 97 annual races. The track has been a dirt road rally up till 2011, when major works were completed on the whole track to fully pave the road surface. That meant that speeds dramatically increased, and records fell, with Dunne the first ever motorcycle rider to break the 10-minute barrier in 2012, taking first place at that event (after winning the 2011 event with a time over 11-minutes). He then proceeded to claim King of the Mountain honours again in 2013, and 2018, with officials estimating that he would have been approximately 10 seconds ahead of Australian Rennie Scaysbrook – who himself set a new record and won the event – before his crash.

Following the disastrous accident, the Pikes Peak board of directors have issued a statement to say there will be no motorcycle racing at the 2020 event, and that organisers will be carefully watching how their absence affects the entirety of the event, to make an informed decision about the viability of motorcycles in events further into the future.

“It was decided that in order to determine the long-term viability of the motorcycle program there will be no motorcycle program offered in 2020 so that race organizers can gather data and analytics to review more thoroughly the impact on the overall event in the absence of this program,” the statement reads.

“It’s just time to take a hard look at every aspect of the race, including the motorcycle program, and determine whether or not the event may change,” says Board Chairman Tom Osborne.

The motorcycle record is currently held by Rennie Scaysbrook, with a time of 9 minutes, 44.963 seconds, from this years event. Check out the video below of an interview with the Champion, including footage of his record-setting run.

Photos: Ducati Media House
Video: The Broadmoor Pikes Peak International Hill Climb