The legendary Italian bike maker is mourning the loss of one of its most valued employees ever. Franco Farnè was a rider, and above all head mechanic of the Ducati Corse Team, as well as the true right arm of Fabio Taglioni. Franco joined Ducati in 1951 after his mother gave up her job at the company so that he could be employed there. From the start he showed an innate capacity for mechanics, beginning as a young test rider on the Cucciolo. When Fabio Taglioni joined Ducati in 1954, Franco was immediately taken on by the engineer from Lugo, from the very outset with the Gran Sport Marianna. A Ducati rider at the Motogiro d'Italia, at the Milan-Taranto race and in the first races on city racetracks, Franco proved himself a gifted rider and mechanic, and won the Italian Junior Championship in 1956 and 1957 with the Ducati 100, and in 1958 with the Ducati 125 Desmo.
Franco soon became one of the lead mechanics and was responsible for the the "physical" development of the first Desmodromic system in 1956, and he also developed the 350 displacement in the States in the 60s. Franco then developed the first racing twin-cylinder bikes, the Pantah engine, the trellis frame, and helped on many of the superbikes. In 1999, Franco retired, although he never kept himself away from the world of Ducati and competitions. He had worked with the company for more than 50 years.
Ducati mad this statement about Franco: "Ducati is mourning the passing of one of the most iconic figures in its history, one of the true cornerstones of Ducati's story, of the Corse department and of Ducati Corse, as well as a dear friend of the whole company and of all Ducatisti. Not many people at the Borgo Panigale firm have been able to do so much, and give so much."