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Pikes Peak Rookie Carlin Dunne Extends Ducati Win Streak and Sets Course Record

In a remarkable story, young Carlin Dunne of Santa Barbara exploded a stereotype about motorcycle dealership owners after taking pole position in his rookie year at Pikes Peak, and then blitzing the course in a new record time to take the win . . . Ducati’s second in a row. Here is Ducati’s press release from earlier today.

Carlin Dunne won the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb today on the Ducati Multistrada 1200, setting an all time motorcycle record and giving the Italian brand its second consecutive victory in the historic race.

Dunne, owner of Ducati Santa Barbara in California, took the checkered flag on his store’s showroom demo bike. After three weeks of frantic preparation, the team set out to Pikes Peak for Dunne’s rookie effort. The 28 year old rider was fast from day one, qualifying on pole for the race and setting a confident pace throughout all three days of practice. In the race Dunne got the holeshot at the start and never looked back. The time across the finish line was 11:11.32; a new course record for motorcycles.

“We were definitely anxious to get out and race today; “said Dunne about his race. “When the flag dropped I got the holeshot and went for it. The whole week’s worth of setup work with my technician Sam Swain came together and the Multistrada 1200 worked flawlessly to give us the win. With the help of Spider Grips, Dumontec, BrakeTech and Burley Motorsports we can go home with an all time record!”

While Dunne topped the timesheets for Ducati, Pikes Peak regular Alexander Smith rode a spirited race and crossed the finish line with a time of 12:12.92; earning him a much celebrated third place in the 1205cc class. In what was a wild and treacherous race away from Dunne and Smith, the other two Ducati entries fell upon misfortunes. Six-time winner Greg Tracy had an unfortunate fall while charging to post a fast time, and is already looking forward to next year’s race. Second place qualifier Mark Cernicky also suffered from bad luck when his Multistrada’s tire went flat several corners past the starting line. All four riders in the Ducati family enjoyed their Pikes Peak adventures despite mixed results, and were thrilled with the dominating performance of the Multistrada 1200.

Crucial to Ducati’s Pikes Peak successes is the Multistrada’s innovative “4 bikes in 1” capability. The Pikes Peak circuit is an ideal location to demonstrate the effectiveness of the Multistrada 1200’s riding modes due to its diverse terrain. A racer can conquer the asphalt sections using the Multistrada’s 150hp “Sport” mode, and on the fly change to the 100hp “Enduro” mode for the dirt sections of the course. This enables maximum setup capabilities throughout the race, changing the Multistrada’s Ducati Electronic Suspension, Ducati Traction Control, and Bosch-Brembo ABS in conjunction with the engine’s fly-by-wire throttle management.

The Multistrada 1200’s race win comes on the eve of the Multistrada 1200 S Pikes Peak Special Edition, a striking version of the Multistrada 1200 S painted and accessorized to match the Spider Grips team bikes competing in the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb.

Ducati is quite proud of its rider’s successes, and hopes to return to the mountain with the Multistrada 1200 for future title defense.


  1. Eric says:

    The big bikes take their toll on the riders, they don’t really handle as well as a 450 in the dirt, add in the thin air and extra effort to ride a “handfull of bike” and your out of breath halfway thru the course.

  2. Jack Meoph says:

    His right wrist still had pins in it, and was only at 20%. His achievement is incredible, no matter how you look at it. Last year that Pike’s will have the loose stuff, so there’s also that.

  3. Brian says:

    Sweet… Way to go Carlin!! He was a bad ass on a mountain bike doing the big drops and such.. Cool to see him getting it done. Carlin was also nice enough to let me test ride a Hypermotard once..

  4. Vrooom says:

    Pretty cool. While a press release, setting the all time record up Pike’s Peak isn’t something that happens every day. I’m presuming the picture is of a generic multi, and not the one raced to the championship, I’d like a look at that, google here I come.

  5. Dave says:

    How many other categories were won on a dealerships showroom demo by a business owner (not a full time professional racer)? I don’t know the answer to these questsion but I feel that these points are compelling enough to warrant unique attention to the achievement.

    • Gary says:

      I didn’t mean to minimize Carlin Dunne’s win at all, I was just chiding the editors of this website for not giving any more information on the event than the Ducati press release. Certainly notable was Stuart Sinclair’s 750cc class win and 2nd overall motorcycle time (less than 16 seconds behind Dunne) on a bike with less than half the displacement of the Ducati (Aprilia 550). Davey Durelle, on a 450 Kawasaki, was the only other rider under 12 minutes.
      From the quotes in the press release it seems that Dunne’s bike was hardly right off the showroom floor, as he credited three weeks of frantic preparation and a solid week of set up as helping him to his achievement.

  6. ibking says:

    Not bad Ducati, not bad at all. A Suzuki SX made it up in 9:51.58 (a four wheel drive super car)that’s quick.

  7. Gary says:

    Rather than just reprinting a Ducati press release, how about doing a minimal amount of research and write a brief race report? There are several more motorcycle classes that race up the road to Pikes Peak and these riders deserve just as much recognition as those riding Ducatis. Not to mention that we wouldn’t be subjected to the advertising portion of the press release as well.

  8. ColorMeSkeptical says:

    Let me guess. In the “1205cc class”, there were only 4 entrants, all Ducatis. And only 2 finished.

    • Vrooom says:

      Well, it did set a record for all motorcycles all time.

      • Dave in says:

        Well, the road is in the process of being paved. Each year for the last couple, more if it has changed from gravel to asphalt. I suspect next year it will be completely paved and we’ll see another course record.