At the 85th running of the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb, BMW Motorrad Motorsport came, saw and conquered with the HP2 Megamoto. American rider Gary Trachy won the new class for bikes up to 1200cc in an amazing 11 minutes and 46 seconds, closely followed by Casey Yarrow (USA, 11:49). US Supermoto star Micky Dymond finished in third place with a time of 11:52, while fourth in the rankings was Gary's brother, Greg Tracy, who completed the famous hill climb in just less than 12 minutes (11:59).
German endurance star Markus Barth swapped the racetrack for the mountain road and made his debut at Pikes Peak, finishing in a very respectable 12:44, in front of HP2 Enduro riders Gordon Mullavey (13:25) and Max Statton (14:31), who had driven for more than 30 hours from New England, to race at the world famous hill climb.
Thousands of spectators turned up at Saturday's race to cheer on the brave riders and drivers who attempted to scale the 12.42-mile course that begins at 9,390 feet (2,862 metres) and finishes at the 14,110-foot summit of the spectacular Pikes Peak Mountain. The first half of the challenging course is asphalt, while the remainder is hard-packed gravel. Following a thunderstorm in the Colorado Rockies, the track was still wet and therefore slippery and tricky to ride.
There was a lot of competition in the BMW Motorrad Motorsport team as to who would be the fastest rider in this 'race to the clouds' but there could only be one victor in the 1200cc class and it was Gary Trachy, who also won last year's event outright:
"I improved my fastest time from last year by a few tenths of a second and in respect of the adverse conditions I am very happy. I had a lot of fun with the Megamoto on this challenging track," he said.
Trachy's team-mate Casey Yarrow was beaming with joy with his second place finish: "I improved last year's time by half a minute, which is really great! In contrast to most of the other people here it was only my second ever start at the Pikes Peak, so with this in mind, I am more than satisfied with my performance this weekend."
Last year's runner-up rider Micky Dymond was the most successful of the American riders who recently travelled to Austria for this year's Erzberg Rodeo, finishing fourth in the Prologue and sixth in the King's Class race. However, he was disappointed with his result at Pikes Peak, although he couldn't really fault his performance:
"I had a great run without any mistakes and I rode more aggressively in every section in the race than I had throughout practice. However my time was still six seconds slower than Gary's... It's totally incomprehensible for me to think about exactly where I lost time because in my mind at least I was really fast. The Megamoto is a great tool for this kind of race and I hope I can show next year that I've got what it takes to win."
Greg Tracy, the older brother of the class winner, is also hoping for a better result next year: "It's very difficult to complete all 156 turns without making any mistakes," said the stuntman won the Supermoto class last year and came third in the overall rankings. "There are ever-changing conditions on the track, and there is often sand on the asphalt. At Pikes Peak everything has to come together for you to win, but it didn't today for me. However, the bike was not the reason."
German rider Markus Barth - competing for his first time at Pikes Peak - gained a lot of respect for the spectacular 14,110-foot mountain race: "That was an extremely hard race, with ever-changing requirements, and today I couldn't have achieved more," said the BMW Motorrad Motorsport racer who nearly fell twice and was forced to ride a little more conservatively towards the finish.
The overall fastest motorcycle time of the day went to American rider Dave Durelle on a 750cc prototype machine that weighed only 110 kg. At only just over five feet tall himself, Durelle weighs next to nothing - in fact, the combination of rider and bike was lighter than the weight of the HP2 Megamoto alone! Durelle had a flawless run and made it to the summit in 11 minutes and 41 seconds - just five seconds faster than Gary Trachy on the HP2 Megamoto. Apart from Dave Durelle and the four American HP2 Megamoto riders, no other bike or rider even came close to the magic 12-minute ascent time.
Pikes Peak 1200cc class results
1. Gary Trachy (11:46.47) - HP2 Megamoto, BMW Motorrad Motorsport
2. Casey Yarrow (11:49.47) - HP2 Megamoto, BMW Motorrad Motorsport
3. Micky Dymond (11:52.30) - HP2 Megamoto, BMW Motorrad Motorsport
4. Greg Tracy (11:59.06) - HP2 Megamoto, BMW Motorrad Motorsport
5. Markus Barth (12:44.7) - HP2 Megamoto, BMW Motorrad Motorsport
6. Gordon Mullavey (13:25.39) - HP2 Enduro
7. Max Statton (14:31.91) -HP2 Enduro