On his first attempt at the Broadmoor Pikes Peak International Hill Climb, road racer Jeremy Toye set a record in the premiere Open Class to win the category aboard a 2015 Kawasaki ZX-10R, celebrating the 30th year of the legendary Ninja brand.
Prior to setting foot on the hill, Toye was confident he could get among the class leaders, aiming to beat the outright Pikes Peak motorcycle record, which was set by Carlin Dunne in 2012 with a time of 9:52.819.
While that record remains intact, Toye was able to set a time of 9:58.687 to win the Open Class, finishing 6sec ahead of his closest rival, Fabrice Lambert aboard a Ducati.
Despite a small spill during qualifying, Toye was always among the fastest riders in practice and qualifying for the 92nd running of the Pikes Peak Hill Climb. In fact, his performance during the event won him the coveted Rookie Of The Year and King Of The Mountain awards. He is also only the third motorcycle rider in history to finish the race in less than ten minutes.
“Our team worked hard to get the bike ready after our get-off in qualifying, but the Ninja ZX-10R ran great,” commented Toye. “Race day conditions were extremely slippery, but we had the setup and big horsepower to get the win.”
With the Pikes Peak course now fully paved, riders have been assessing what would be the best motorcycle to tackle the daunting 156 high-speed and hairpin turns while making the 5,000ft ascent to the mountain’s 14,110ft peak. In the past, the mixed road surface called for adventure-style motorcycles, but the paved surface is now suitable for sport bikes and slick tires. As a result, Toye chose the 30th Anniversary Edition of the renowned Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10R fitted with Pirelli Diablo Superbike slick rear and intermediate front tires.
Jeremy is no stranger to challenging races. In fact, his storied career has seen him set the fastest lap for a newcomer at the Isle of Man TT in 2006, a third place at the Macau GP, and multiple top-five finishes in AMA Pro Racing competition. So while Pikes Peak might be daunting for most riders, Toye saw it as another course to conquer and set about preparing the ZX-10R to get the job done.
Of course, Jeremy didn’t have it all his own way. He was up against some very tough and experienced international competition. Fellow Kawasaki rider, Daniel Fernandez from Colombia finished in sixth place aboard a Kawasaki Versys 1000, setting a time of 10:37.043.
British rider and Isle of Man TT legend, Guy Martin, also made his rookie appearance at Pikes Peak. He was riding a 2014 Martek with a turbocharged 1100cc engine but mechanical issues would put him down in 11th place with a time of 11:32.6.
However, the event was marred by the tragic passing of fellow competitor Bobby Goodin, who crashed while trying to slow his Triumph Daytona 675R after crossing the finish line. CPR was administered immediately, and he was flown to a nearby hospital where he succumbed to his injuries. Our sincere condolences to Mr. Goodin, his family, friends and those close to him.
For full results, visit the Pikes Peak Hill Climb website at www.ppihc.com.