La Carrera Panamericana Ducati Day 2 Report

October 23, 2011
JC Hilderbrand
JC Hilderbrand
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Hilde is holding down the fort at MotoUSA’s Southern Oregon HQ. With world-class dirt bike and ATV trails just minutes away, the hardest part is getting him to focus on the keyboard. Two wheels or four, it doesn’t matter to our Off-Road Editor so long as it goes like hell in the dirt.

2011 La Carrera Panamericana Day 2
Competitors in the 2011 La Carrera Panamericana left for Day 1 from the starting arch in Huatulco, Mexico.

The pair of Ducati riders accompanying all the classic cars of the La Carrera Panamericana traveled 278 miles for Day 2 of The Mexican Road Race. Along the way from Oaxaca to Puebla they were greeted with cooler temperatures and more great roads during the six speed tests and long transfers. Ducati’s Multistrada 1200 riders are potentially paving the way for a future motorcycle division in this seven-day road rally.

Ducati’s massively powerful Testastretta 11 engine screams on the paved road courses which are closed off to public traffic in the timed sections. The Multi’s comfortable ergonomics, wind protection and customizable electronics are surely paying off during the transfer sections where riders can focus on the beauty of the Mexican landscape. Live volcanoes could be seen in the distance and Day 2 featured more huge crowds of enthusiastic race fans. There have been no issues with the two Italian street bikes, but three cars went off course today, forcing repairs.

Motorcycle USA recently spent 10 days with a similar Ducati during our 2011 Adventure Touring Shootout. Learn more about the 2011 Ducati Multistrada 1200 S Touring and see how it performs. It would be an excellent choice for a race like the La Carrera Panamericana. Want to ride your Ducati but can’t make it to Mexico? Check out the MotoUSA Ride Guide for awesome roads in your area.

2011 La Carrera Panamericana Day 22011 La Carrera Panamericana Day 2
The Ducati Multistrada 1200 street bikes are running alongside the classic autos.

Here’s the update from Ducati:

The morning of Day 2 started early with the pilots leaving the starting line at 8:30 a.m., headed from Oaxaca towards Puebla with six speed stages ahead of them. This was four speed stages less than the day prior, but with about 50 km more total distance. Being further inland brought much cooler temperatures and seemingly less humidity, which was a welcome treat for all. As we made our journey towards Puebla, the pilots encountered one great road after another in the speed stages and some longer transit stages allowing them to soak up the beautiful scenery which seems to change continuously throughout the journey. With live volcanoes in the distance and the sea behind them, they charged forward towards Puebla without incident. Both bikes are running great and both Carlin and Roland agree that the Multistrada is without a doubt, the right tool for the job.

After the last speed stage of the day, the race stopped in Tehuacán where huge crowds gathered for a day-long fiesta. It has become apparent that this race means a great deal to the people of these cities and small towns of Mexico. The race and its pilots are embraced with warm welcomes everywhere we go. Children and adults alike surround the pilots and teams with each stop asking for autographs and photos. It doesn’t matter if you’re running at the front of the pack or the last car through, for these seven days the pilots and race teams of La Carrera Panamericana are treated as heroes.
After the longest transit stage we’ve encountered thus far, we arrive to the beautiful city of Puebla to the largest gathering yet. Shouts of “Bienvenidos” fill the air as the bikes lead the pack of cars through an enormous crowd. Day 2 is complete and everyone is excited for what lies ahead in day three as we make our way towards Querétaro.

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