Motorcycle Racing News Carl Sorensen Dies During Pikes Peak Hill Climb Practice

Carl Sorensen Dies During Pikes Peak Hill Climb Practice

Carl Sorensen Death at 2015 Pikes Peak International Hill Climb

Carl Sorensen Dies During Pikes Peak Hill Climb Practice
Carl Sorensen

Tragedy struck the 93rd running of the Broadmoor Pikes Peak International Hill Climb (PPIHC) Thursday when a motorcycle competitor went off the Pikes Peak Highway between Devil’s Playground and the peak’s 14,115-foot summit.

Officials identified the rider as Carl Sorensen, 39, of Centennial, Colo., who crashed his #217 Ducati 848 that he had entered in the Middleweight Class.

Soresen was participating in the third day of Pikes Peak practice for this year’s Race to the Clouds, which is a three-mile stretch that begins at Devil’s Playground and ends at the finish line.

During the 2014 PPIHC, Sorensen finished 10th in the Open Class aboard a Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10R. He also finished fourth in the Exhibition class in 2012, and was well known for his racing in the Motorcycle Roadracing Association based in Colorado.

Sorensen became the fifth death in the history of the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb, and the third motorcycle fatality since 1982. During last year’s PPIHC, another Middleweight Class rider – Bobby Goodin – passed after crashing his Triumph 675R in the parking lot after the finish line.

Following Sorensen’s Pikes Peak crash, his family and the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb Board of Directors jointly released the following statement:

The collective hearts of the Colorado Springs community and the Board of Directors of The Pikes Peak International Hill Climb, share the grief and pain of Carl Sorensen’s family, friends and fans over his untimely death.

Throughout the 92 years that this unique race has been conducted on America’s Mountain, we have experienced the ultimate joy in triumph, 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 Carlton and he will be in all of our hearts this Sunday for the 93rd Race to the Clouds.

He will be remembered as a loving husband, father, son, brother, and friend with a tremendous sense of humor and a passion for racing.

He left our lives while doing something that he loved, and it is the only thing that has the ability to deal with the reality of life, the acceptance of the competitors of the dangers in the race, and the heart and soul of a great man.

With our deepest condolences,

The Family of Carl Sorensen and Board of Directors of the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb.

About Pikes Peak International Hill Climb:

The Broadmoor Pikes Peak International Hill Climb is America’s second oldest race next to the Indianapolis 500, and takes competitors on a 12.42-mile run up Pikes Peak through 156 turns. Besides the hairpin turns, the ascent also challenges due to elevation changes; the PPIHC  begins at 9,390 feet above sea level and climbs to 14,115 feet at the finish line of the Summit. Near the top, engines lose nearly 30-percent of their power, creating tough situations for both rider and machine.

Ron Lieback
Ron Lieback
One of the few moto journalists based on the East Coast, Ron Lieback joined the motorcycle industry as a freelancer in 2007, and is currently Online Editor at Ultimate Motorcycling. He is also the author of "365 to Vision: Modern Writer's Guide (How to Produce More Quality Writing in Less Time).

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