American motorcycle racer Carlin Dunne passed away on June 30, following an accident during the 97th Pikes Peak International Hill Climb.
Dunne, who had previously won the event four times, set the fastest qualifying time earlier in the week onboard the prototype Ducati V4 Streetfighter, which meant he was the last rider to set off up the mountain. It is believed Dunne, who was 36, crashed less than a quarter of a mile from the finish line.
The event organisers and Ducati North America issued a joint statement yesterday:
Throughout the 97 years that this unique race has been conducted on America’s Mountain, we have experienced the ultimate joy in victory, the disappointment of failure and now, the unexpected heartbreak of the loss of a competitor, whose love of the race brought him to Pikes Peak. We mourn the tragic death of Carlin and he will remain in our hearts forever as part of the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb family. Carlin will be remembered as a warm hearted mentor with a competitive spirit. He was a gentle and thoughtful man who touched everyone who met him. We will always remember his contagious smile and genuine love for sport.
“There are no words to describe our shock and sadness. Carlin was part of our family and one of the most genuine and kind men we have ever known. His spirit for this event and love of motorcycling will be remembered forever as his passing leaves a hole in our hearts,” said Jason Chinnock, CEO Ducati North America.
Dunne’s first victory at the hill climb event came in 2011 onboard a Ducati Multistrada 1200, and a year later he became the first motorcyclist to complete the course in under 10 minutes, earning him the nickname King of the Mountain.
A year later in 2013, Dunne returned to Pikes Peak with the Lightning LS-218, and became the first rider to win the event on an electric motorcycle. Dunne would not return to the event until 2018, when he again won, this time onboard a Ducati Multistrada 1260 Pikes Peak edition.
Motofire joins the rest of the motorcycling and racing community in offering our deepest condolences to Dunne’s family and friends.