Volkswagen gives Sebastien Ogier a Ducati 1199 Panigale S “Senna”

To celebrate his second World Rally Championship title, taken at the wheel of his Polo R WRC, Volkswagen Motorsport decided to present Sebastien Ogier with a stunning, exclusive Ducati 1199 Panigale S "Senna".

A very special, elite bike, dedicated to the late F1 champion Ayrton Senna, of whom Sebastien Ogier has always been a huge fan. Ogier received the bike in person at the Ducati factory in Borgo Panigale (Bologna), in a handing-over ceremony attended by Domenicali (CEO of Ducati Motor Holding) and Gigi Dall'Igna (Ducati Corse General Manager) who greeted the driver warmly: Ogier, in turn, was accompanied by Jost Capito (Head of Volkswagen Motorsport) and Sven Smeets (Volkswagen WRC Team Manager). From Borgo Panigale, the bike went to Wolfsburg, where the WRC drivers and team celebrated their world title victory in the presence of Volkswagen employees and top management.

Ducati, in accordance with the Senna Foundation, in making a contribution to the charitable and educational aims for which the Foundation has been working since it was established, which is to reaffirm its incredible respect and esteem for one of its most famous Ducatisti by producing a special colour scheme for its flagship bike, the 1199 Panigale S.

The colour, chosen personally by Ayrton Senna during his visit to Ducati a few weeks prior to his last race in Imola in '94, is the same as the one seen on the 300 bikes of the first version dedicated to him, produced in 1995. This was a grey, red-wheeled 916 SP, the 916 Senna I, which was available only as a limited 300-bike edition. Another two versions followed: the 916 Senna II and the 916 Senna III, manufactured and sold in 1997 and 1998 respectively. All three Senna versions were limited editions and are still extremely rare and eagerly sought after by collectors worldwide.

The bike given to Sebastien Ogier, based on the 1199 Panigale S, features that very same colour scheme. Intended exclusively for the Brazilian market - hence its unavailability in Europe and the need to have it shipped from Brazil - the 1199 Panigale S "Senna" comes in a limited edition of just 161 bikes (the number of GPs raced in F1 by Senna), the progressive numbering indicated on an exclusive, specially designed top yoke.

Ogier received bike number 16, in memory of Senna's first Formula 1 victory (Portuguese GP - John Player Special Lotus - 1985).

"For me, Ayrton Senna is the biggest hero in motorsport", said Sebastien Ogier on receiving the bike. "He was my idol. My father was a big fan of Senna and, when I was a young boy, he took me to Monte Carlo to see him race. He was the best, he was fast in every car, and he would never give in. It would have been great to meet him and get to know him, but in any case, he remains a fine example in motorsport. This Ducati 1199 Panigale "Senna" is a fantastic gift. I am very grateful to Volkswagen, both for the bike and for the importance it has for me, as I really admire Ayrton. The bike will for sure take pride of place in my home. They have done a fantastic job in Ducati. It is such a beautiful bike that it will almost be a shame to ride it on the road, so I will probably keep it in my living room! It is also nice that it has the number 16, in memory of his first win in Formula 1. It was in Portugal, where I scored the first WRC win of my career."

The ceremony also provided Ogier with an opportunity to take a tour of the factory and the Ducati racing department, and meet the employees and technicians of the Borgo Panigale plant who, naturally, gave him a very warm welcome.