PPIHC: Carlin Dunne Takes Pole Position at Pikes Peak

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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.

Click the following for the 450cc & 750cc motorcycle qualifying times.

2012 Pikes Peak International Hill Climb Qualifying Results for the 1205cc Class:

Pos. PIC Name Lap Time Speed Hometown Chassis
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

Photo: © 2012 Jensen Beeler / Asphalt & Rubber – Creative Commons – Attribution 3.0