Legendary Ducati Figure Franco Farne Passes Away
Ducati is one of the few motorcycle manufacturers that deserves its reputation as one of the world’s finest bike makers. A big part of the company’s unmistakable aura can be tied into its racing division, Ducati Corse, and you can make a case that legendary engineer Franco Farne is one of the few people largely credited in turning Ducati Corse into a veritable racing powerhouse.
Sadly, the 81-year Farne passed away this week, leaving behind a Desmodromic-sized hole in Ducati after being associated with the company for more than 50 years.
For those of you who are not familiar with Farne, it’s best to understand that he is considered as one of the most important figures within Ducati. His claim to fame may be his involvement in creating the Desmodromic valve design that has now become so intrinsic on a lot of Ducati models today. But Farne’s accomplishments within Ducati extends far more than that.
According to Ducati Museum curator Livio Lodi, Farne was part of a small group of people that kept Ducati’s racing department up and running, a far more impressive feat considering that the racing department was at that time independent from the rest of the company. Essentially, Farne is credited for being one of the driving forces in creating the framework that Ducati Corse now uses. Even after becoming eligible to retire, Farne spurned that life by continuing to work for Ducati, earning himself the status as one of the most iconic figures in the company’s history.
His death is terrible news for the motorcycle industry, but most importantly for Ducati.
Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family and friends of Franco Farne. Rest in peace, signore.
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Why it matters
It’s always tough reporting about deaths in the industry, but it’s even tougher when the person who passes is concerned a titan in the business. That’s probably the best way to describe Franco Farne in the world of Ducati.
He was a titan for the Italian bikemaker. His contributions were unparalleled and whatever success Ducati Corse has had in the past and in the future can be tied into the dedication and perseverance of people like Farne who kept Ducati Corse from going turtle-up at a time when company brass didn’t see the importance of having a racing unit in the first place.
Franco Farne will be missed by those who knew him at a personal level. But for those who didn’t, it’s nice to know that his memory will live on every time we see Ducati Corse in action in whatever racing series it’s competing in. That might not have been possible without the contributions of Franco Farne.