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Ducati racer Carlin Dunne dead following Pikes Peak Hill Climb crash

The 36-year-old rider died less than a quarter mile from the finish line at the mountain's summit.

Carlin Dunne

The world of motorsports suffered a tragedy Sunday when Ducati motorcycle racer Carlin Dunne died at the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb.

Dunne, 36, from Santa Barbara, California, was on the way to setting the new motorcycle speed record at the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb. Having just obliterated the first three sector times, less than a quarter of a mile from the finish line at the mountain's summit, he crashed.

This was meant to be the defining ride of an incredible career. Dunne was with Ducati, the brand that helped him launch his reign as king of the mountain, riding the company's latest and greatest Streetfighter V4 prototype.

It's not yet clear exactly what made Dunne lose control of his bike so close to the end of the race. But in the end, all that matters is that this weird, tight-knit community of racers and riders lost one of its greatest ambassadors.

As part of his relationship with Ducati, Dunne worked with rookie riders to help teach them how to ride the notoriously treacherous mountain. In doing so, he helped keep motorcycles a vital part of the Pikes Peak Hill Climb.

"There are no words to describe our shock and sadness," Jason Chinnock, CEO of Ducati North America, said in a statement. "Carlin was part of our family and one of the most genuine and kind men we have ever known. His spirit for this event and love of motorcycling will be remembered forever as his passing leaves a hole in our hearts."

We didn't know the man personally, but we're honored to have seen him at his peak. Roadshow extends its deepest sympathies to Dunne's friends and family during this time.