The 97th running of the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb might be still five and a half months away, but things are already looking very interesting for the road race above the clouds.
This is because the entry list for the 2019 PPIHC is out, and it contains more than a few curious motorcycle entries that have piqued (peaked?) or interest.
The Ducati Streetfighter Cometh?
First up, the biggie. Carlin Dunne is set to return to America’s Mountain, which would help explain the never-ending supply of social media posts that he has been making about Pikes Peak recently.
This isn’t too crazy to hear, nor is the fact that Carlin will be onboard a Ducati motorcycle when he begins this year’s event.
What is more interesting is that Dunne will be racing in the Exhibition Powersport class for Pikes Peak, on what is listed as a “2019 Ducati TBD” motorcycle.
Knowing that Pikes Peak requires motorcycles to be without fairings, and with a flat handlebar, this limits the options for Ducati riders…but only if they are keeping things fairly stock.
Carlin’s entry as an exhibition bike though means that Ducati plans to bring something very special to the Race to the Clouds this year. And if you’re going to make a special bike, then surely the outright record is on the Italian brand’s mind.
If we are right, the combination of such a machine and Carline Dunne should be worth the price of admission at the Pikes Peak gate in its own right. Then again, who are we kidding? Anything with Carlin Dunne is worth the ticket price. He’s so dreamy.
Aussie, Aussie, Aussie! Oy, Oy, Oy!
One of the fastest riders ever up the Pikes Peak mountain, Rennie has not only a serious shot at breaking the outright Pikes Peak motorcycle record, but surely also taking the Heavyweight crown as well.
The Tuono V4 1100 is perfectly suited for racing to the top of Pikes Peak, and it should be a weapon in Rennie’s hands. We are very curious to see what the Australian racer can do this year at this iconic American race, and wish him the best of luck.
The KTM Hat Trick
We had to do a little hunting to look for Chris Fillmore’s name on the entry list, as the fastest motorcyclist ever up Pikes Peak wasn’t where we expected him on the entries…and there is good reason for that.
Listed under the Pikes Peak Lightweight class, Fillmore will be riding a KTM 2019 KTM 450 SX-F Factory Edition, which will surely be in supermoto trim.
This might seem like an odd choice for such a fast rider, but remember that Fillmore holds the record for the fastest Heavyweight and Middleweight runs ever up Pikes Peak.
Sealing the deal in the Lightweight class would make it a hat trick, and cement his title as King of the Mountain, especially while holding the outright two-wheeled record.
The KTM racer made mincemeat of Pikes Peak last year on a prepped KTM 790 Duke, setting a blistering 10’04” run – that’s an exceptional time even on a bigger bike at Pikes Peak.
What can Fillmore do on the 450cc supermoto? That remains to be seen. The current record is 10’35.354″ from 2017, set by Davey Durelle on an Aprilia SXV450 supermoto.
The Electrics Are Coming
Lastly, there are a number of electric entries worth mentioning, most notable is Cory West on the Zero SR/F, which won’t be released for another month or so.
Expected to be the biggest, baddest motorcycle from Zero Motorcycles ever, it should make an impression, and it will be interesting to see how close it gets to the outright electric motorcycle record, which is just over 10 minutes even (set by Carlin Dunne on the Lightning LS-218).
Rob Barber will once again come across the pond and race for the University of Nottingham, and Yoshihiro Kishimoto will be crossing the Pacific to race on the Team Mirai IdatenX Hill Climber electric motorcycle.
Lastly, we should point out that there remains one more mystery entry that is “TBD” from the race organizers. Let the speculation begin about who and what it could be.
Source: PPIHC; Photo: Ducati