For the 2017 Pikes Peak International Hill Climb (PPIHC)—the second oldest automobile race (1916) behind the Indianapolis 500 (1911)—Ducati North America has expanded its “Race Smart Program” that was created last year to assist racers.During this year’s 95th running of Pikes Peak International Hill Climb, Ducati will use two modified Multistrada 950s as EMT bikes during the race that takes riders 12.42 miles in 156 corners to finish at an elevation of 14,115 feet.
The MST950s will be piloted by Dr. Gary Klein, long-time race physician and Safety Team lead for the PPIHC, and Duxton Milam, a 20-year EMT and veteran flight medic with the National Guard. Ducati says both also have decades of experience on a motorcycle.“In the program’s first year, we saw all of the racers who were mentored through the Race Smart program improve their results and race with confidence up Pikes Peak to the finish,” says Jason Chinnock, CEO of Ducati North America, an official sponsor of“For 2017, we saw an opportunity to further enhance the safety of all participants by incorporating moto EMTs for rapid response in the case of a course incident. This is extremely important when the emergency support teams are covering a course of more than 12 miles up a mountain peak.”Ducati began racing at Pikes Peak in 2008, and has since claimed six victories. One of those victories includes Carlin Dunne’s record breaking run in 2012 on a Ducati Mutlistrada 1200 S. His time of 9:52.819 has been untouchable since.Dunne is part of the Race Smart Program’s Pikes Peak Squadra Alpina (PPSA) team that educates riders before the race in attempt to enhance safety. Dunne will be joined by Cycle World Road Test Editor and Pikes Peak competitor Don Canet.Paul and Becca Livingston also return as the Race Smart Program team managers, with experience fielding teams at the PPIHC since 2006, including Team Spider Grips Ducati’s 2012 record-setting runs under 10 minutes.Ducati says in addition to the two EMT motorcycles and rider coaches, the PPSA has also been expanded to include four-wheeled team coaches. Fred Veitch, veteran PPIHC racer and member of the Board of Directors for the Hill Climb, as well as the Competition, Driver Selection and Appeals committees, will join the PPSA team. He is joined by Jeff MacPherson, who has 50 years of competition experience, including the PPIHC, CART Indycar series, USAC Indianapolis 500, European Formula 3000 Championship, Formula Atlantic in North America, and the Pacific in New Zealand and Australia Formula Super Vee.
This week, Senior Editor Nic de Sena rides the all new Ducati Monster. Big changes have been made by Ducati–has the company ruined the considerable heritage of the iconic Monster–or are the changes worth it? In the second part of the show, we chat with Nick Ienatsch, Founder and Head Instructor at the Yamaha Champions Riding School. He says: “We aim to change your riding life by introducing you to Champions Habits: The techniques, approaches, skills, and the mindsets of the best riders in the world. These Champions Habits are the foundation of safety and consistency to whatever speed you ride, in any venue on any bike. Street riders, this is just as much for you as track riders. The best way to make safe riders is to make good riders.“ We hope you enjoy this episode!