Ayrton Senna, the legend who loved Ducati

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Ayrton Senna, the legend who loved Ducati

It’s been 26 years since that cursed May 1st, 1994 where Ayrton Senna met his destiny in Imola. More here yourmotobro.com. At the bend of the tambourine, the dreams of a man suddenly shattered in search of his fourth world title, probably, in that grand Prix the greatest Formula 1 driver of his era died.

Ayrton finally passed to Williams in 94, which he strongly desired. It was the best single-seater of the last two world championships, but with the new regulation, however, something changed. In that year, any type of electronic control on the cars was eliminated (active suspension, ABS, Traction Control, automatic gearbox, four-wheel drive, and electronic differential) with the intention of returning the driver to the center of driving the single-seaters. With all this and with the addition of refueling in the race and consequent reduction in the size of the tanks, the single-seaters will become even lighter. The levels of competitiveness among cars changed but above all, they became very dangerous, difficult if not impossible to tame, real monsters, a driver error or an imperfection of the track paid dearly, the year proved tragic for Formula 1 with many drivers victims of serious accidents and two fatal accidents. Ayrton, despite a not exactly brilliant start to the season, proved to be the fastest in the flying lap, revealing once again his extraordinary sensitivity behind the wheel, without electronic aids, with a Williams that also had big driveability problems. It is important to underline, with regard to the tambourine incident, that senna was not the victim of one of his mistakes, but was the victim of a formula1 that went beyond the limits, of the passion that led him to race despite everything, as well as having had immense misfortune in the dynamics of the impact. That Sunday I was on television, incredulous that all this had happened to him, the best of all, my idol of those years. Senna was a true champion, a myth loved by all, for his legendary exploits, and also as a man, despite a relatively short career, which lasted only 10 years. From that day Formula, 1 was never the same, with Senna an era ended. The season continued, of course, but starting from scratch, aware of having made big mistakes, not to be repeated. His death was a real watershed between what was before and what was after.

After this brief but necessary introduction, on the anniversary of that tragic accident, let’s move on to something that not everyone knows. Ayrton hid another passion, in addition to motoring, which was that for motorcycles and in particular for Ducati in which he was particularly interested. Senna was already the owner of a beautiful Ducati 851 (the first bike produced by the Cagiva group) with which in some photos he is seen polishing it as a true amateur, like the one on the cover. In addition, he was given the first Ducati Monster 900 ever produced, strictly red (chassis number 000001).

In the early 90s, the brothers Claudio and Gianfranco Castiglioni were in fact owners of both Ducati and Cagiva. It was in that period that Claudio, a Formula 1 enthusiast, came to know Senna and from there mutual esteem and friendship was born. At the beginning of 1994, Claudio had the opportunity to present the first Ducati 916 Strada at Senna. The latter was deeply impressed by the beauty and harmony of the shapes and was the perfect bike to start a project already in the pipeline for some time. Combine the Ducati brand with the Senna name. From that meeting, the Ducati 916 Senna was born and the refined 916SP was chosen as the basis. It was presented in three colors, gunmetal black/gray, silver-gray, and Total black combined with bright 3-spoke wheels in an unmistakable intense Red/orange, beautiful.

The Senna I was produced in only 300 copies that were immediately sold out. The presentation was supposed to be made official in June 1994 but the accident that cost the life of the Brazilian ace, who was to be the protagonist of the launch, made it slip up to the Bologna Motor show in December of the same year in an event / Tribute to which attended by Castiglioni, Jean Alesì, Pier Luigi Martini and Ayrton’s sister Vivianne, co-founder together with her brother of the Senna Foundation committed to helping the poor of her country, Brazil.

Part of the love and warmth that resided in Senna fans and supporters all over the world, as well as from his compatriots, in tears at his funeral, lay precisely in the fact that the pilot had always been on the front line to help people. in serious trouble in Brazil . Senna, was born into a rich family and lived at ease in a profoundly unequal country, he wanted to do more to be able to give a chance to those who had never had one in life, first with anonymous donations and then, since 1994, the sister opened a foundation with her name, which Senna had strongly wanted even before his death, so every object, every initiative that used the Senna brand, would have paid a Royaltis to the foundation, which would have reinvested the proceeds to finance the charitable works. The wonderful Ducati Senna were also involved in all this. In addition to the Senna I, given the great success achieved, a second and a third series were also produced . Today all three series are of an absolute rarity and are paying dearly on the market. After all those who buy a Senna buy much more than a 916 ..compra the career of an exceptional driver, a desire to help his country, his friendship with Castiglioni and the passion he had for Ducati.

Subsequently, a series MV Agusta F4 Senna version in 2005 and a Panigale 1199 series in 2015 Senna were also produced for the 20th anniversary of his death only for the Brazilian market produced in 161 units, as many as the GP disputed by the unforgotten champion.

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