Motorcycle Racing News KTM 790 Duke: Middleweight Record Breaker 3rd at PPIHC Among Heavyweights (+Video)

KTM 790 Duke: Middleweight Record Breaker 3rd at PPIHC Among Heavyweights (+Video)

Chris Fillmore Finishes 3rd Overall on KTM 790 Duke Behind Two Heavyweights

When KTM unveiled the 790 Duke during the 2017 EICMA Milan Motorcycle Show, the Austrian manufacturer called the new mid-weight “The Scalpel.”

And for good reason. The 105-horsepower 790 Duke was built to carve lines with ease and without the rowdiness of its older brother, the 177-horsepower 1290 Super Duke R, rightly coined “The Beast.”

KTM 790 Duke: Middleweight Record Breaker 3rd at PPIHC Among Heavyweights (+Video)In theory, the mid-weight’s design equates to quicker handling and ability to get on the gas sooner, allowing a rider to harness all power for ultimate traction.

Chris Fillmore quickly proved this theory during the 96th running of the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb by taking the win for the Middleweight class in record-breaking style.

He posted a new Middleweight course record of 10:04.038. Impressive, but even more impressive is that Fillmore finished third, and was only one middleweight among the top six:

1. Carlin Dunne, Heavyweight, 2018 Ducati MTS1260 Pikes Peak: 9:59.102

2. Rennie Scaysbrook, Heavyweight, 2017 KTM 1290 Super Duke R: 9:59.794

3. Chris Fillmore, Middleweight, 2018 KTM 790 Duke: 10:04.038

4. Codie Vahsholtz, Heavyweight, 2018 Ducati MTS1260 Pikes Peak: 10:12.703

5. Thilo Gunther, Heavyweight, 2015 BMW S 1000 R: 10:16.637

6. Lucy Glöckner (Rookie), Heavyweight, 2015 BMW S 1000 R: 10:21.932

The next closes Middleweight finisher was Davey Durelle on an Aprilia SXV; his sixth-place  time was a 10:36.010.

KTM 790 Duke at Pikes Peak 2018Fillmore now holds both the Heavyweight and Middleweight records for the motorcycle division; his 2017 PPIHC run of a 9:49.265 is the top time. He rode a KTM 1290 Super Duke R last year to create that new baseline up the 12.42-mile course that features 156 corners.

The KTM 790 Duke was just under five seconds slower than the Heavyweight record time.

Following the “Race to the Clouds,” Chris Fillmore said: “We set some goals before coming here to try and win the Middleweight class, break the Middleweight course record, and I really wanted to podium the overall. I got way closer to an overall win than I ever would have expected on a middleweight bike and I’m just happy how everything turned out, it was a good weekend.”

Chris Fillmore 790 Duke Pikes Peak

For additional information on the KTM 790 Duke, visit KTM USA.

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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