What has become the pair to beat, Davey Durelle aboard the powerful Aprilia SXV550 won his 13th personal Pikes Peak International Hill Climb. Durelle won by less than a second over TM rider Gary Trachy by completing the course in an astounding 11:48.649 minutes.
Pikes Peak International Hill Climb, touted to be the second oldest motor sports race in America, held the first event in 1916 and this year’s running makes the 87th time competitors challenged America’s Mountain. The course climbs12.42 miles, has 156 turns and starts at 9390 ft. climbing to over 14,000ft. Power at the higher elevations is reduced by 30% and many of the turns are literally carved into the sides of cliffs with no safety rails. Riders must be extremely skillful and in incredible shape just to complete the course let alone be competitive
Davey grabbed the hole shot and lead for the first two miles before second place finisher, Gary Trachy, made a pass for the lead. Trachy stretched his lead to 5 seconds before Durelle used the power of the SXV to close the gap in the wide open dirt section and re-passed him for the lead less then a mile from the summit. Durelle and Trachy battled side by side to the top finishing a mere .094 seconds apart…one of the closest finishes in the history of the International Pikes Peak Hill Climb.
“I had pole for race day and was able to get the hole shot,” explained Durelle. “I lead for the first two miles of the race until Gary passed me. He put a little distance on me on the lower asphalt section. We were side by side and I just beat him to the inside of the last left hand sweeper. I held him off to the finish line.”
Durelle’s race winning time would make him and his Aprilia the fastest motorcycle on the mountain for the second year in a row.
“After Davey’s win last year, beating much larger bikes to the top, we trusted that there would be more Aprilia entries this year,” explained Rick Panettieri, Aprilia Brand Manager. “The SXV is an excellent bike to race on a mountain road like Pikes Peak, the light weight, amazing power and superb handling make this the best motorcycle for twisty mountain roads – paved or dirt. Now the back to back Pikes Peak victories support just that.”
In addition to Durelle’s decisive victory, Aprilia enjoyed success from several other riders at this year’s Pikes Peak event. Italian rider Giuliano Covezzi finished fourth in the 750 class and was subsequently awarded “Rookie of the Year” by the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb staff. Landers Sevier of TWO Magazine and Visordown.com finished 6th in the 450 Supermoto class on an Aprilia RXV450 converted to supermoto specification, and in the 750cc motorcycle class John Pierce and Ryan Sweeney finished 8th and 13th respectively. Both riders piloted Aprilia SXV 550’s during their assault. All Aprilia entries other than Durelle were racing the infamous mountain for the first time.
Part of this year’s success goes to former AMA Aprilia Supermoto Team technician Amauri Nunez, who was on hand at Pikes Peak to assist all Aprilia riders. “Amauri was a great help not only to me but to the other Aprilia mounted riders,” said Durelle. “It was great to see all the Aprilia’s entered in this year’s race.”
Davey Durelle is sponsored by Aprilia USA, Erico Motorsports, Dunlop Tire, Arai, Spider Grips, Scotts Perf, & Victory Circle Graphixs.
Photography courtesy of: Pikes Peak International Hill Climb/Michael Hill Photography.