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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