Aside from race day, I have one other favorite day on the mountain – qualifying day. It’s the last day of practice, and our first time on this lower section. We will be running from the start line to the switchback below Glen Cove. The last time Micky raced here at Pikes Peak was in 2008 and so he has been looking forward to getting back on this section.
The first run is the sighting lap – slow – but after that every lap potentially counts as a qualifying lap. Each rider’s fastest run of the day is the one used for the Qualifying sort. We are reminded in the rider’s meeting that the bike used for qualifying must be the same bike used on race day. That is not a problem for us, as Micky has selected which bike he will use – the one our team calls “Lucky”.
So on the second run, Micky & Lucky head out. Because it has been a while since Micky has ridden this section he continues the same technique that he has used all week. Gradually getting to know the course. There is a risk though, that there will be an incident that shuts down the course or even the entire session, so he doesn’t have the luxury of spending a lot of time getting to know the turns before clicking up the speed. There have been incidents each day and the injuries worse than I was aware of – some riders who came to race are not going to be there on Sunday.
But the first few runs go well, until the red flag comes out. We only have the course until 9:00am today so the crew starts watching the clock too. There is another run, then another red flag. One rider comes down in the ambulance. The green flag comes out and Micky takes off again. This time the team can see from his start that he has decided to make one that counts. He comes back in and we see the posting for 1205 class – top qualifier #43 Dymond.
There were two more runs and Micky got the time squeezed down a couple more seconds. At the end of the day we were the fastest in our class, and Ducati riders qualified first and second in the 1205 class. Rider Bruno Langlois is back from last year, right behind Micky and ready to try for first. He is also on a Multistrada. The race on Sunday should be a good one – you can watch it live on Red Bull TV, or on the Pikes Peak Hill Climb website here: https://www.ppihc.com
Tomorrow I will fill you in a bit on the competition here on the mountain, and some of the fun things our team has been doing. In the meantime though, if you are in the vicinity of Colorado Springs, come on down to Fan Fest tonight. The entire Falkner/Livingston Akrapovic Team will be there with our bikes for this year and a couple other very special motorcycles.