The Pikes Peak Hill Climb Is Crazy. Here's How Carlin Dunne Was Able To Win It

Troy Siahaan
by Troy Siahaan
the pikes peak hill climb is crazy here s how carlin dunne was able to win it

It goes without saying that the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb is one of the most dangerous motor races in the world. I should know – I flew off the mountain and lived to tell about it when I raced Pikes Peak in 2013. Coincidentally, Carlin Dunne was there that year, too. In fact, he was the fastest two wheeled machine up Pikes Peak on the motorcycle we now know as the Lightning LS-218. The year prior Dunne won the race on a Ducati Multistrada, setting a course record that stood for five years.

After 2013, Dunne took a break from competing on the mountain. He even had a stint being a rider coach to all the Pikes Peak newcomers. Then, in 2017, when Chris Fillmore aboard his KTM 1290 Super Duke R, broke Dunne’s record, Ducati wanted to get the title back. In the five years since Ducati last held the record, the Multistrada evolved into the Multistrada 1260 – an even more potent weapon for the mountain. Who was the natural choice to ride the bike? Dunne, of course.

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The 2018 edition of the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb was a dramatic one, with Dunne in an extremely tight battle with another KTM-mounted rider, Rennie Scaysbrook. In the end, Dunne’s time of 9:59.102 was just sixth tenths of a second faster than Scaysbrook. It wasn’t the record-setting time they were hoping for, but the conditions on the mountain simply weren’t good enough to reclaim the fastest motorcycle time ever. And when the risk is this high, sometimes you have to take what you can get.

Being a big deal for Ducati, of course there were several cameras (still and video) surrounding the team, the bikes, and the riders. If a new record were to be set, Bologna wanted to be sure the world knew about it. Even though a new record wasn’t set, the folks in Borgo Panigale still wanted to honor Dunne with his victorious run aboard the Multistrada 1260 – a motorcycle Dunne and his team hardly modified to make it Pikes Peak worthy. The result of all this footage is a sort of mini documentary chronicling the challenges of Pikes Peak, and the unique circumstances the 2018 race threw at Dunne and the rest of the competitors. It’s an intense ride up the mountain, told by someone who’s known for keeping his cool under pressure. Enjoy the video.

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  • Mad4TheCrest Mad4TheCrest on Jul 15, 2018

    Ducati should really love this guy. His exploits sell quite a few extremely pricey Multistradas.

    A friend of mine who knows him says he's a great guy as well as a great racer.

  • ColoradoS14 ColoradoS14 on Jul 16, 2018

    I was laughing at the YouTube comments about this win for Ducati. So many folks saying it is not impressive because KTM went 3 seconds faster last year with the SDR. If you ask me I think it is wildly impressive that this sport touring/ADV bike is only 3 seconds off a super naked over 12.5mi! Can't wait to see what Ducati does if they decide to run the new V4 naked bike when and if that hits!

    • TroySiahaan TroySiahaan on Jul 16, 2018

      What people don't realize is conditions on the mountain change drastically (worsen) year after year. Unlike a typical racetrack, Pikes is open to regular traffic. More to the point, the snow/ice that accumulates on the mountain in the winter really degrade the pavement and the course. Even during the week of the race conditions can change day by day. So it doesn't surprise me the time is slower this year. All the competitors were saying there was an extreme lack of grip halfway up the mountain.