In its second year of having a fully paved road course to the summit, it should come as no surprise then that qualifying for the 91st running of the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb saw the quickest time ever set by a motorcycle.
It should also come as no surprise that the man setting the record was Carlin Dunne, the 2011 race winner and rookie of the year, and 2012 race winner and outright motorcycle record holder.
Qualifying on the lower section of the Pikes Peak course, Dunne put down an astounding 4’13 lap time — putting him five seconds clear of his nearest two-wheeled competition.
While it is impressive that Dunne was able to beat out the Ducati Multistrada 1200’s in the 1205cc class, what is perhaps the most intriguing piece of news is that Dunne set the qualifying record while riding the Lightning Motorcycles Flying Banana*.
To put Dunne’s qualifying in perspective, the Santa Barbara native beat his own qualifying time from last year, a 4′:16.896, by over three seconds. On pace throughout the entire week, Dunne was noticeably more focused today, and got progressively faster throughout the morning’s qualifying.
Watching him flick the Lightning through Engineers Corner was an impressive sight, especially when you consider that the Lightning weighs near 500 lbs.
Things are shaping up to be a good race on Sunday, with a pair of Ducati Multistrada 1200’s on the pace, and with Dunne looking to make the fastest motorcycle up Pikes Peak an electric one.
*We have a good gentleman’s wager with Lightning CEO Richard Hatfield that if Dunne can beat his own race record of 9’52.819 on Sunday, then the Lightning superbike will from now on referred to as the “Top Banana” on Asphalt & Rubber — now that’s a bet we wouldn’t mind losing.
For the Full Motorcycle Qualifying Results for the 2013 Pikes Peak International Hill Climb, click here.