Pikes Peak International Hill Climb suspends motorcyle classes for 2020

Carlin Dunne died on Pikes Peak following a crash near the finish line of this year’s climb.

The Pikes Peak International Hill Climb will not include motorcycles in 2020.

The move announced Friday by the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb Board of Directors comes in the wake of the death of Carlin Dunne, a multiple-time class-winning motorcylist who was killed in a crash during this year’s edition of the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb on June 30.

The Board of Directors of the PPIHC plan to continue to study the overall affect on the event with the loss of the motorcycle classes before making a long-term decision regarding motorcycles in the event.

“Motorcycles have been a part of the PPIHC for the past 29 years, and their history on America’s Mountain dates back to the inaugural running in 1916,” said Tom Osborne, PPIHC chairman in a press release. “That said, the motorcycle program hasn’t been an annual event. They have run 41 of the 97 years we’ve been racing on Pikes Peak. It’s just time to take a hard look at every aspect of the race, including the motorcycle program, and determine whether or not the event may change.”

Dunne, a four-time race winner on Pikes Peak and fastest rider on the hill on a Lightning Electric Superbike in 2013, crashed his 2019 Ducati Streetfighter V4 Prototype near the finish line of this year’s Hill Climb. According to published reports, it appeared Dunne hit a bump at a high speed, which caused his front wheel to spin out. That bump in the road had caused concern from other riders throughout the race week.

In a post-event report, the race director and race safety team said that Dunne’s motorcycle showed no sign of mechanical failure. 

Dunne, who was the fastest rider in 2018 and crowned King of the Mountain, is not the only rider to die during the event in recent years. Middleweight Division rider Bobby Goodin died in an on-coure crash in 2014. In 2015, Colorado rider Carl Sorenson also died racing in the Middleweight Division.

The interruption in motorcyle racing on the mountain will not be the first such break. Motorcyles were not part of the Pike Peak event from 1917-19 due to World War I. There was also no motorcyle racing from 1920-53, 1977-79 and again from 1983-90.

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