At Pikes Peak they’re getting ready for the big race on Sunday, and in today’s qualifying round Lightning Motorcycles’ rider Carlin Dunne took pole position while beating the next gas bike racer by over 6 seconds. This is a historic moment, because it marks the first time any electric vehicle has beaten a gasoline powered vehicle in a major international competition.
A week ago Lightning sent out a press release saying that Dunne had beaten the gas bikes in an early practice round. It appears that in practice rounds since, Dunne has kept up that pattern.
It’s beginning to look like, on Sunday, Lightning will take home the overall win in the Motorcycle category.
The results sheet they posted on Facebook shows Dunne finishing a 5.16 mile run in 4:13.532. The next finisher, Micky Dymond, riding in the 1205 class, had a time of 4:20.215, or 6.683 seconds behind Dunne. The next three, all on gas bikes, had 4:25.xx times. The next bike after those three, in the Pikes Peak Superbike 750 class, had a 4:28.184 time.
The numbers go on from there, suffice it to say that Dunne beat the field by a good margin. The next electric bike was a Zero S ridden by Jeremiah Johnson, with a 5:00.720 time.
Lightning is racing in the Exhibition Powersports class meaning that the gas bikers aren’t in direct competition with Lightning or the other electric bikes. Someone will win in the Pikes Peak 1205 class, for example, and take home a 1st place trophy, even if Lightning’s Dunne manages to beat the whole field.
If indeed Lightning does win outright, there’s I’m sure some kind of special honor for having done so. In choosing Carlin Dunne, Lightning brought on board the winner in the motorcycle class for the last two years. In 2012 he had a 9:52.819 time in the Pikes Peak 1205 class.
Dunne has been beating the 1205 class all week, so it seems likely he’ll do it again on Sunday.
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