There have been some high-profile deaths in the past few years.
Even at the best of times, charging up Pikes Peak is a risky challenge. Both racing cars and motorcycles flock to America’s Mountain to run the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb every year, and this year, sadly, brought tragedy in the untimely death of Ducati rider Carlin Dunne. As one of the most accomplished hill climb racers lost his life in pursuit of the motorcycle record and other riders died in recent memory, the race’s board of directors have decided to pull motorcycles from the 2020 event.
“It was decided 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.” In other words, the board is doing this as a temporary measure, at least for now. If they later decide omitting motorcycles doesn’t really harm participation in the event, then motorcycles may be disallowed from the Pikes Peak Hill Climb permanently.
Maybe motorcycles will return, maybe not
Mind you, motorcycles have not been with the hillclimb since its founding. As Tom Osborne, chairman of the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb pointed out. “Motorcycles have been a part of the PPIHC for the past 29 years…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.”
Some may cry foul at this decision, but we’ll have to wait and see the ultimate outcome after the 2020 running up Pikes Peak. What do you think of the decision? Let us know in the comments below.