La Carrera Panamericana Ducati Day 3 Report

October 26, 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 3
Competitors in the 2011 La Carrera Panamericana left for Day 1 with the heavy news of Marco Simoncelli’s death.

Day 3 of the 2011 La Carrera Panamericana gave the two Ducati pilots plenty of time to reflect on the death of Marco Simoncelli as the course ran across the longest transfer sections to date. It started with 106 miles straight out of Puebla, Mexico. En route to Queretaro there were only two timed sections as the final one at Salidad del Autodromo was cancelled by race officials. Unfortunate for the car drivers, but as a journalist, Roland Brown was allowed a few short laps around the racing circuit.

Terrain was a mixture of mountain passes with steep drops lining the roadway. Day 3 saw many repairs being done to the classic racing autos but all the drivers were met with cool temperatures throughout the day.

The Ducati riders are mounted on Multistrada 1200 street bikes. 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.

Here’s the update from Ducati:

The morning of Day 3 got off to a somber start with the news of Marco Simoncelli’s tragic death at the Malasian Grand Prix reaching the team just moments before departing for the day. Just the night before, while having dinner at the awards ceremony in Puebla, we were having a conversation about what a wonderful contribution Marco makes to MotoGP and how we looked forward to what he will bring to the sport in years to come. With the news weighing heavily on everyone’s minds, the pilots mounted their Multistradas and the team forged ahead towards Querétaro.

2011 La Carrera Panamericana Day 3
2011 La Carrera Panamericana Day 3
As the race nears its halfway point, many cars are making repairs along the route. Scenery on Day 3 was spectacular.

With Day 3 came the longest transits and coolest temperatures we’ve seen yet. A 170 km transit took them out to two more incredible speed stages before we jumped back onto the highway for a 230 km journey to the daily service stop stationed at Cavas Freixenet, a small winery outside of Querétaro.

Each day there is a planned service stop along the route, a time for the unsung heroes of La Carrera Panamericana to get feedback from the pilots and make any adjustments necessary to the cars, or in our case, the bikes. During these daily stops and throughout the evenings in the pit areas staged in the various hotel parking lots, it seems every car is being worked on and if you consider that most of these cars are from the 1950s, it’s no wonder. After re-fueling the bikes, we were again off to the races.

The afternoon brought some really fast twisty roads with great pavement winding around the mountainsides. Unfortunately, the last speed stage of the day, which was to be held at Autódromo de Querétaro, was cancelled due to circumstances that were not revealed. However, during a photo opportunity at the circuit, Roland was able to play his journalist card and get on the track for a few laps. With the exception of a couple of safety concerns, he found it to be a great course and something worth considering for the potential motorcycle class.

Of course, the day ended with another huge fiesta in the heart of Querétaro, another fantastic city along our journey through Mexico.

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