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Things are going to be different at the 2020 Pikes Peak International Hill Climb. From rumors to absolute, motorcycles have been banned for next year's calendar. The decision comes following a few serious accidents involving motorcycles, including the death of Carlin Dunne who was riding the Ducati Streetfighter V4 in June 2019.
There were rumors that the organizers were considering a ban on motorcycle racing at the event following Dunne's crash, and this has now been announced. There is confirmation that motorcycles will not be allowed to compete at the 2020 'Race to the Clouds' event.
As is, the ban is limited only for the 2020 calendar, and organizers have said they will analyse and discuss long-term viability of motorcycle racing at Pikes Peak. A final decision will be made at the end of 2020.
Tim Osborne, Chairman of the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb, said, "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."
"That said, the motorcycle program hasn't been an annual event. They have run 41 of the 97 years we've been racing on Pike 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," he added.
Event organizers took the decision after the tragic death of Carlin Dunne at the 2019 event. Carlin was riding the Ducati Streetfighter V4 and he crashed just shy of the finish line. Interestingly, Carlin's mother, Ronnie Gallardo, urged officials not to ban motorcycles from Pikes Peak during an emotional tribute to Carlin Dunne.
An official investigation ruled out any mechanical failure on the motorcycle Dunne was riding, however there's no denying the underlined danger of racing motorcycles at the 156-turn race to the summit of the peak at 4,302 meters.
Six people have died at Pikes Peak since the event began in 1916, four of who have lost their lives at motorcycle based competition. The Pikes Peak International Hill Climb staff and board members said they would continue to track metrics related to the annual race, and take a final decision by the end of 2020.
Thoughts About Motorcycle Racing Being Banned For The 2020 Pikes Peak Calendar
This is terrible news. First off, any form of racing, without exception, has lost racers on a track. Banning motorcycle races is not a solution. Actually, there is no solution. As motorcycle racers we all know the risk we take when climbing on to the saddle. We know that there is chance everything can go wrong, and still we race. Because that's what we do. That's why we ride. If the management at Pikes Peak chooses to leave us and the rest of our community out, we'll just find our own peak, and still race. And crash. Carlin must be face-palming himself listening to what PPIHC has done.
RIP Carlin! You are loved!