Ducati is set to return to America’s Mountain, announcing today that it would race in the 2018 Pikes Peak International Hill Climb with riders Carlin Dunne and Codie Vahsholtz.
Carlin Dunne (who is today’s big birthday boy) is a former record-holder at Pikes Peak, and was the first rider up the 156-turn course in under 10 minutes, while Codie Vahsholtz is the current middleweight record-holder at Pikes Peak.
The return to “The Race to the Clouds” will also serve as a launching point for the Ducati Multistrada 1260 Pikes Peak model, which will have to compete with an increasingly faster volley of competition.
“After holding the course record for many years, we had decided to use our experience on the mountain to help support the safety of riders with the introduction of the Squadra Alpina program and keep the tradition of motorcycle racing on the mountain,” said Ducati North America CEO Jason Chinnock.
“Our efforts proved to be successful. After 2017, when Dunne’s record was finally broken by a small margin, it inspired us to race again with the goal of reclaiming the title. The riders, team and new Multistrada 1260 Pikes Peak are destined to be a force on the mountain.”
The 2018 Pikes Peak International Hill Climb takes place on Sunday, June 24th. Ducati’s re-entry into the iconic road race is surely welcomed news to race organizers, and for the first time the Italian brand should have some real competition on the Mountain.
Initially racing against itself in a special 1200cc v-twin only class, Ducati has traditionally ruled the roost at Pikes Peak as the only professional racing effort at the amateur racing event.
However, in the past few years we have seen other manufacturers coming to Colorado to compete with great success, such as Honda (2015), Kawasaki (2014), and most recently KTM (2017).
Last year, Chris Fillmore broke Dunne’s record, using the KTM 1290 Super Duke R, while his teammate, moto-journalist Rennie Scaysbrook, became one of only a handful of riders ever to post a sub-ten minute run.
Ducati’s return to Pikes Peak for 2018 surely means that the Italian brand plans on reclaiming its hill climbing crown – it probably helps too that the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb is a hometown event for Ducati North America CEO Jason Chinnock.
Source: Ducati; Title Photos: © 2012 Jensen Beeler / Asphalt & Rubber – All Rights Reserved