Today saw the 96th running of the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb, with riders and drivers once again racing to the clouds, just outside Colorado Springs.
This year’s race was framed as Ducati vs. KTM, with the Australian claiming the outright record at Pikes Peak, after Chris Fillmore took his KTM 1290 Super Duke R up to the summit in 9:49.625.
Looking to reclaim its crown, Ducati came back to Pikes Peak after a short hiatus, enlisting the help of Carlin Dunne (of A&R fame) and Codie Vahsholtz.
The duo would square off against Cycle News test editor Rennie Scaysbrook, who would ride again on his KTM 1290 Super Duke R, while Chris Fillmore would take on the middleweight class with a KTM 790 Duke, in a quest to post a sub-10 minute time on the smaller bike.
With the 2018 Pikes Peak International Hill Climb framed as one of the most exciting in recent memory, the event surely didn’t disappoint.
Throughout practice week, conditions on the mountain have been very good, with record-setting paces seen through out the sessions. Friday would see a thunderstorm enter the area though, putting questions marks on Sunday’s race.
Add into the mix a bit of snow on Pikes Peak’s summit, and the race-day conditions were far from ideal. Setting sub-10 minute times though, both Dunne and Scaysbrook posted strong results as they battled up the mountain’s time-trial course.
The 156-turn fight to the summit was an extremely close affair, with only seven tenths of a second separating the two at the checkered flag – an impossibly close margin for such a long and challenging race.
“Rennie was on a mission, I’ll tell you that. He wasn’t going to take no for answer. Trading spots on the time sheets, he was really tough to beat,” said Dunne of Scaysbrook.
As if that wasn’t enough for the Santa Barbara native, Dunne was less than 100% at the start of the race too. “Starting off the week, I was sick. I had a head cold, and I ended up getting altitude sickness. So, that was a hinderance,” Carlin Dunne explained to us.
Losing the front tire multiple times before the summit, Dunne said the grip dropped dramatically about halfway up the mountain. “Once that happened, I knew I was racing to finish, not to set a record.”
Taking his Ducati Multistrada 1260 Pikes Peak race bike to the top, in one piece, Dunne is once again King of the Mountain, though we are sure that he has his eye on reclaiming his record.
“You’ve got a pretty big target on your back when you’re undefeated and come back to get the fourth win. Not being here the past few years, sort of spectating, it is great to come back and be so successful.”
Giving his all to beat Dunne, Scaysbrook was obviously disappointed by the narrow margin he lost by. Sending Asphalt & Rubber a short text message, the Australian journalist said he was understandably “heartbroken” over the result.
“What can I say? I gave it everything I had,” said Scaysbrook. “The road conditions were really slippery, and the rear tire especially was struggling for grip. The track was really dirty, a bit like earlier in the week during early morning practice, so getting confident with the bike snaking everywhere was tough.”
“Congratulations to Carlin. He’s truly a legend at this place. I’m seriously bummed to miss out on the overall by that margin, but that’s racing,” added Rennie.
KTM’s Chris Fillmore will likely be counting tenths of seconds in his head as well.
While the former AMA Pro Superbike racer rode a record-setting race on the less powerful KTM 790 Duke (finishing third overall in the process), he missed out on setting a sub-10 minute middleweight time by only a few seconds, which would have been truly an impressive feat.
Fillmore now holds both the Heavyweight and Middleweight class records at the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb.
Other notable results include Dunne’s Ducati teammate, Codie Vahsholtz, who finished a very respectable fourth place.
Pikes Peak rookie Lucy Glöckner also impressed, finishing 6th on her BMW S1000R sport bike. Coming all the way from Germany to race at Pikes Peak, we can imagine seeing this young racer making repeat trips to Colorado, and giving the boys a continued run for their money.
Motorcycle Results from the 96th Pikes Peak International Hill Climb:
|1||Carlin Dunne||Heavyweight||2018 Ducati MTS1260 Pikes Peak||9:59.102|
|2||Rennie Scaysbrook||Heavyweight||2017 KTM 1290 Super Duke R||9:59.794|
|3||Chris Fillmore||Middleweight||2018 KTM 790 Duke||10:04.038|
|4||Codie Vahsholtz||Heavyweight||2018 Ducati MTS1260 Pikes Peak||10:12.703|
|5||Thilo Gunther||Heavyweight||2015 BMW S 1000 R||10:16.637|
|6||Lucy Glöckner (R)||Heavyweight||2015 BMW S 1000 R||10:21.932|
|7||Davey Durelle||Middleweight||2007 Aprilia SXV||10:36.010|
|8||Rafael Paschoalin||Middleweight||2017 Yamaha MT-09||10:38.380|
|9||Tyler O’Hara (R)||Lightweight||2016 Yamaha YZ450F||11:04.342|
|10||Travis Newbold||Lightweight||2005 Honda CRF||11:13.945|
|11||Joseph Toner||Exhibition||2007 Aprilia SXV Custom||11:29.134|
|12||Akinori Inoue (R)||Heavyweight||2018 Kawasaki Z900RS||11:34.021|
|13||Darryl Lujan||Lightweight||2013 Honda CRF450R||11:39.620|
|14||Michael Woolaway (R)||Exhibition||2014 Ducati Hypermotard||11:40.742|
|15||Theo Bernhard||Quad||2007 Yamaha YZ500||12:03.676|
|16||Mark Bartle||Lightweight||2018 Honda CRF450F||12:13.716|
|17||Doug Chestnutt||Lightweight||2012 Yamaha WR-450||12:33.599|
|18||Jeremiah Johnson||Electric||2018 University of Nottingham UoN-PP-02||–.—|
|19||Robert Barber||Electric||2018 Buckeye Current RW-3x||–.—|
|20||Leandro Rad (R)||Lightweight||2015 Yamaha YZ||–.—|
(R) – Rookie Rider
Source: PPIHC; Photo: Ducati