Earlier last month, word began to spread regarding race officials of the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb (PPIHC) considering suspending motorcycles from the 2020 program. This has been confirmed in an official statement by the PPIHC board.
On June 30, 2019, Ducati rider Carlin Dunne fatally crashed his Ducati Streetfighter V4 Prototype on Pikes Peak near the finish line. The PPIHC investigation found no signs of mechanical failure, stating that Dunne high-sided entering the last turn of the course. Witnesses and other participants cited the section’s poor road quality as a possible cause. Since the inaugural race in 1916, the motorcycle class has been suspended several times over the years. Dunne’s was the seventh fatality associated with the PPIHC, and the fourth motorcycle-related death. When the whole course was completely paved by 2011, some race fans voiced their concerns that this would increase the speeds, leading to greater risk.
“2020 Pikes Peak International Hill Climb will not include a motorcycle program while analysis for long-term viability is conducted. The Board of Directors of the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb recently convened to review the 2019 event. It was decided that in order to determine the long-term viability of the motorcycle program there will be no motorcycle program offered in 2020 so that race organizers can gather data and analytics to review more thoroughly the impact on the overall event in the absence of this program,” said the PPIHC Board of Directors in an official statement. “PPIHC staff and board members will continue to track all metrics related to the annual race and make a final determination in late 2020 about whether or not the inclusion of a motorcycle program will take place in future years.”
“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. “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,”