Motorcycles will not be permitted to compete at the 2020 Pikes Peak International Hill Climb, following several serious incidents involving motorcycles, including the tragic death of Carlin Dunne on a Ducati Streetfighter V4 in June 2019. There have been rumours of the organisers considering a ban on motorcycle racing at the event following Dunne's fatal crash, but this is the first confirmation that motorcycles will indeed be not permitted to compete in the "Race to the Clouds" event in 2020. For now, the ban is limited to just 2020, with the organisers saying that they will analyse and look into the long-term viability of motorcycle racing at Pikes Peak, with a final decision at the end of 2020.
"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, 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 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."
The decision comes after the tragic death of Carlin Dunne at the 2019 event, after he lost control of the Ducati Streetfighter V4 just before the finish line. Despite the tragic crash, Dunne's mother Ronnie Gallardo had urged officials not to ban motorcycles from Pikes Peak as part of an emotional tribute to Carlin Dunne. An official investigation uled out any mechanical failure on the motorcycle Dunne was piloting, but there's no denying the inherent danger of racing motorcycles in the 20 kilometre, 156-turn race to the summit of the peak at 4,302 m.
In all, six people have died at Pikes Peak since the event began in 1916, four of which have occurred in motorcycle competition. The Pikes Peak International Hill Climb staff and board members will continue to track all metrics related to the annual race and take a final decision by the end of 2020, whether motorcycle racing will be re-introduced any time in future, or to completely ban motorcycle entries at the event.