Pikes Peak Champ Carlin Dunne Dead After Racing Crash

American racer dies on his way to a record-setting run up the mountain.

Four-time Pikes Peak winner, Carlin Dunne.
Four-time Pikes Peak winner, Carlin Dunne, 36, passed away during Sunday’s PPIHC race in Colorado Springs, CO.Ducati Motor Holding

Four-time Pikes Peak International Hill Climb champion Carlin Dunne passed away Sunday following a racing accident at the 93rd running of the The Broadmoor Pikes Peak International Hill Climb in Colorado Springs, Colorado. He was 36.

Dunne was gunning for his fifth title, again with Spider Grips Ducati, on its all-new Ducati Streetfighter V4 prototype. The Santa Barbara, California racer was fastest all week during practice and final qualifying for Sunday morning's race. Per PPIHC rules, polesitter Dunne was the final bike to launch from the starting line in sunny and near perfect conditions.

Carlin Dunne races on track.
Dunne was on record-breaking pace, and was fastest through the first three segments of the 156-turn course on a 2019 Ducati Streetfighter V4 prototype.Ducati Motor Holding

He blitzed the first three segments of the 12.42-mile, 156-turn course and was on record-beating pace as he entered the fourth and final segment. According to witnesses on the scene, just before the finish line, Dunne lost control of this Ducati, presumably over a large bump, in the final turn—a fast left taken in third or fourth gear on an open-class motorcycle.

The same reports claim that his motorcycle went over the right edge of the road. A helicopter fitted with a nose-mounted video camera chased Dunne up the mountain and has video footage of his run and the accident. It has not been released.

Carlin Dunne stands in racing next to helmet.
Santa Barbara, California’s Carlin Dunne was vying for his fifth Pikes Peak title during this year’s event. An affable racer and all around motorcyclist, Dunne will be sorely missed.Ducati Motor Holding

Dunne was airlifted from the top of the mountain to Penrose-St Francis hospital in Colorado Springs where he was pronounced dead.

“There are no words to describe our shock and sadness,” said Jason Chinnock, CEO of Ducati North America. “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.”

Carlin leaves behind his father, mother, sister and step father.

The Board of Directors of the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb released this official statement:

“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.”