Wrapping up their third day of practice on the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb (PPIHC) course, the motorcycles were on the lower section of the mountain, which also serves as the qualifying sector for Sunday’s big race. Repeating his performance from last year, Carlin Dunne took his Ducati Multistrada 1200 S Pikes Peak race bike to the pole-position, clocking a 4’17.951 time on the lower section of the course.
Dunne’s teammate Greg Tracy is only a few seconds back on his Multistrada, posting a 4’20.443 time on the lower section, and taking the second-fastest lap time overall for the motorcycles. With Tracy riding stronger in the other sections, come race day the distinction should matter very little. After all, the hill climb is a race against the clock not the other riders, and Tracy has shown himself to be right on pace to give Dunne a hard time in repeating last year’s victory.
“We’re really happy with today’s results, and the Multistrada’s performance is exceeding our expectations. The new pavement is in really good condition, and as long as the weather holds out for race day [thunder cracks], we should have a really good race,” said Dunne. “Inherently, there is some pressure to upholding last year’s win, but I’m really trying to focus on enjoying the race. Really, I can only do what I can do, and just need to make sure I focus on Sunday morning. I’ve told multiple people this already, it really could go either way. The guy who puts 156 turns together best, will win.”
Teammates this year, Dunne stunned the Pikes Peak veterans with his record-setting race to the clouds last year. One of the principals at Ducati Santa Barbara, Dunne rode his dealerhship’s demo bike in the Pikes Peak race, though this year he is trading his matte black machine for one of Ducati North America’s very lovely red and white ones.
Out to prove his race was not a fluke, Dunne is a favorite for Sunday’s race on the now fully-paved course, though Tracy’s massive set of experience on Pikes Peak, not to mention his pace during the practice sessions, have thus far shown that either of the Spider Grips Ducati riders could take the checkered flag.
2012 Pikes Peak International Hill Climb Qualifying Results for the 1205cc Class:
|1||1||Carlin Dunne||4:16.896||72.309||Santa Barbara CA||Ducati|
|2||2||Greg Tracy||4:20.443||71.325||Long Beach CO||Ducati|
|3||3||Bruno Langlois||4:28.403||69.209||Ajaccio France||Ducati|
|10||4||Jiri Heinik||4:53.089||63.380||Czech Republic||KTM|
|28||5||Weston Orloff||5:06.155||60.675||Mukwonago WI||Harley-Davidson|
|43||6||Michael Henao||5:15.543||58.870||Boulder CO||Harley-Davidson|
|58||7||Norman Meyer||5:33.918||55.630||Conifer CO||BMW|
|96||8||Eddie Tafoya||–.—||0.000||Chino Hills CA||Ducati|