La Carrera Panamericana Ducati Day 5 Report

October 27, 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 5
A long transfer stage along the Lago de Cuitzeo interrupted multiple timed sections in the morning and afternoon.

Having passed over the Mil Cumbres (1000 summits) on Day 4, the Ducati Multistrada 1200 riders were able to avoid the trouble that ensnared them previously as the route backtracked across the mountains to start Day 5. Roland Brown crashed on an unexpected layer of dirt and was unable to finish the day prior. Ducati technicians prepped the support bike during the overnight rest in Morelia, and he was back in action for a day that was filled with timed speed sections.

The mountains contained four speed tests before a long transfer across Lago de Cuitzeo, the second largest freshwater lake in Mexico. Following the service stop, another trio of timed stages greeted riders with some of the fastest sections of road yet. Eventually the group wound up in Guanajuato to post up for the night. 

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 5
Riders left Morelia, Mexico and headed into more barren, desert
terrain near Guanajuato.

Here’s the update from Ducati:

Our stay in Morelia was cut much shorter than any of the team would have liked, but the pilots were excited to forge ahead towards Guanajuato. Roland jumped right back into the saddle and the team headed back towards Mil Cumbres to attack these challenging roads once again, this time from the opposite direction. Both pilots made it through the four speed stages taking them through Mil Cumbres safely and they headed north towards the iconic city of San Miguel de Allende for a caravan through the town and the daily service stop.

The afternoon speed stages were some of the fastest of the journey with one fast sweeper after another carrying them through the hills towards Guanajuato. The terrain had changed dramatically from the tree lined roads they had just blazed earlier that day to a more rocky and cactus laden environment. More livestock was seen trotting down the road and the unexpected has now become the expected. Three afternoon speed stages took us right into Guanajuato, through its incredible tunnels and out into the town center. This is yet another amazing city that greeted La Carrera with a warm welcome. Everyone agrees that we will return again someday to fully experience all of these beautiful cities throughout Mexico.

With only two days left in the journey, the team is in great spirits. Tomorrow we head for Aguascalientes.