How can one give a tribute to one of the best motorsport icon the world has ever seen? Well if you are Ducati, you build and dedicate a motorcycle on his name. And that’s what the Italian motorcycle manufacturer did at the ongoing 2013 Brazilian Motorcycle Show. As it unveiled the Ducati 1199 Panigale S Senna Limited Edition in memory of Ayrton Senna, renowned as one of the best Formula 1 driver the sport has ever seen and a man who is revered across Brazil for his sporting prowess and the humanitarian work he did. The special edition bike is a tribute to Senna by the Bologna based motorcycle manufacturer to mark his 20th death anniversary.
Senna by all accounts was himself a Ducatisti and was a big fan of the Italian motorcycle company; in fact he had visited the Bologna factory to spec his personal Ducati before his untimely death at the 1994 San Marino Grand Prix when his Williams Formula 1 car hit the barriers at the Imola Circuit in Italy. The weapon of choice opted by Ducati for the particular edition is the top-of-the shelf 1199 Panigale S which is powered by a Desmodromic, liquid cooled, L-twin cylinder producing 198PS @ 10,750rpm and a torque figure of 132Nm @ 9,000rpm, well these kind of numbers would satisfy any biker on the power quotient. But being an ‘S’ variant, the bike has been loaded with every kind of electronic goodies like electronically adjustable Ohlins suspension, Ducati Quick Shift (DQS), Ducati Traction Control (DTC), Ducati Data Analyzer (DDA) and 9ME ABS system.
The tribute bike has been finished in the same unique grey shade with red wheels akin to his personal Ducati, which he had brought for himself. Apart from the unique paint scheme and Senna decal, each of the special editions would be equipped with a racing exhaust system, and will have its individual production number inscribed on the top fork clamp. The bike would be limited to only 161 units – to commemorate the total number of Formula One Grands Prix that Senna raced in. Pricing of the Panigale S Senna Limited Edition hasn’t be announced yet but expect it to command a premium, also it would be sold only in the Brazilian market, with sales commencing from June 2014. Number 01/161 of the Ducati 1199 Panigale S Senna edition will be on display at the Ducati stand of the Two Wheels Motorcycle Show in Sao Paulo, alongside one of the original Ducati 916 Senna models.
Senna fans would remember that this isn’t the first tribute bike in honour of the Brazilian by Ducati as just a few months before his death in 1994 Senna agreed for the production of a limited edition 916SP, with the profits going to the Senna Foundation. Ducati also released the 916 Senna I, of which only 300 were produced, with two more versions, the 916 Senna II and 916 Senna III built between 1997 and 1998. And needless to say all this versions had a limited run and are sought after by enthusiasts all around the globe. Ducati isn’t the only manufacturer to build a tribute bike for the Brazilian legend as MV Agusta had launched the F4 750 Senna in 2002 and the F4 1000 Senna in 2006, both of which were limited to 300 units each.
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