Ducati People

Episode 6
Audrey Weedon

A passion for engines born in the family, a difficult period when everything she held dear seemed to be crumbling and a determined rebirth, which saw her riding the bike she'd dreamed of with all her heart. Audrey Weedon, 38 and from Switzerland, was one of the first women in Europe to purchase a Panigale V4 R. She told us her story, one of pride and love, determination and passion, during a special Italian weekend where she was able to enjoy the thrill of the MotoGP at Misano and visit the Ducati headquarters and museum in Borgo Panigale.

Photo credits Fares Hammoud

Audrey, tell us about yourself.

I work in the sales and marketing department of a transport company. I have had to move a lot for professional reasons. Now I live in Luxembourg, but before that I worked for many years in London, Los Angeles and Colorado.

And when did you become passionate about motorcycles?

About 12 years ago, with my brother. He used to tell me: “Audrey, I think you're so awesome and tough. You should get a motorcycle licence”. We've always been pretty competitive, so if he could ride a motorcycle... then I could ride one too! So I got my licence. The first bike I rode was his Ducati 916, a motorcycle he'd dreamt of for years. I was so nervous and excited! I remember every single detail of that moment!

Then there was your first Ducati!

Yes, a few years later. A Monster 696 that I christened “Tessa”. A great bike that I really loved. I rode it every day, to work or to London bike cafés and to travel on weekends. I felt at home and free whenever I got on my Monster. “Tough”, as my brother used to say. Riding motorcycles has given me self-confidence.

The V4R, on the other hand, was associated with a completely different, very difficult phase of your life.

Yes... six years ago my brother passed away, a loss that turned my life upside down. For example, I had to leave my job in London and deal with a number of legal problems related to his death. And unfortunately I couldn't keep his Ducati 916, which had meant a lot to us.

The years that followed were very hard trying to come to terms with my new reality and dealing with a very difficult relationship in my life. Earlier this year my self confidence was at an all time low, and at that point in my life I asked myself, what would my brother say to me? He would've told me to go back to being awesome and tough and get back on the bike! And so that's what I did. I went straight to the Ducati Luxembourg dealer and chose the most beautiful bike I've ever seen, the V4R!

And then? What happened?

It wasn't that simple because the dealer told me that the V4 R was sold out. But for some reason I couldn't give up. I felt that was the only bike for me, no other would do. And then a miracle happened. A few days later I got a phone call. There was a V4 R for me in Italy! I was speechless. Maybe because some wishes seem like they're too ambitious to ever come true. And for me the V4R wasn't only the most beautiful thing in the world, it was also my biggest challenge. Because riding again meant starting to make things right. And I knew I could only do that on this Ducati.

And your V4 R has finally arrived....

Yes, in the first few days I was so excited I couldn't even sleep! The V4 R is much, much more than just a motorcycle. I felt that riding it required all the strength I had, but at the same time it gave back just as much. It's no coincidence that I named it ‘Cahira’, which in ancient Irish means “warrior”. When I saw myself in a picture next to the bike I thought, “Wow, that's what my brother meant by tough!”. Now my bike also has a nickname: “Beastie” (laughs).

Photo credits Igor Sinitsin

What in particular do you love about these bikes?

The sound, for sure! It's like... a roar. And the sound of the V4 R makes my heart beat faster every time I hear it.

What does it mean to you to be here at Ducati today?

An unexpected gift, organised by a dear friend of mine, just a few days ago. My father wanted to come with me at all costs, and he's even more excited than I am to be here! It's a very special moment for us to share.

What does the word “Ducatista” mean to you?

Well, for me it means this: that I can't imagine riding any bike that isn’t a Ducati. It's something my brother passed on to me, he really loved his 916. The 916 was him. The V4 R is me. And that's beautiful.

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