Rare Ducati 916 Senna III up for Auction

A super-rare Ducati 916 Senna III is set to be auctioned later this year in April, with an estimation of at least £13,000

Ducati 916 Senna III. - Iconic Auctioneers

The Ducati 916 was an iconic motorcycle on its own, but the exclusivity is turned all the way up with the Ducati 916 Senna III.

One of these very-special-indeed editions is up for auction by Iconic Auctioneers later this year in April, with a guide price of between £13,000 and £15,000.

Based on the Ducati 916SPS, the Ducati 916 Senna III was the final Ducati model dedicated to the F1 legend, utilising a trellis frame typical of Ducatis at the time, and a desmodromic 916cc 90-degree V-twin (or L-twin as Ducati like to bill it) pumping out 114bhp.

The 916 is one of Ducati’s most famous models, having won the World Superbike Championship on four occasions (1994, 1995, 1998 with Carl Fogarty, and 1996 with Troy Corser), and was the bike from which two of Ducati’s subsequent supersports heavy hitters - 996 and 998 - were derived.

The 916 Senna III pictured here dates back to 1999, and has one previous owner, with the current owner having had the bike since 2001. It comes with the iconic standard paint job - all-grey with the distinctive ‘Senna’ logo on the fairing, not dissimilar to the special edition MV Agusta F4 dedicated to the same man. 

It’s had some reasonable use in its time, with 21,292 miles on the clock, but the winning bidder on this lot will receive what Iconic Auctioneers describes as an “extensive” service history, as well as additional documents including old MOTs and receipts.

This example, #168 of the 300-unit production run, comes complete with the original exhaust system, a paddock stand, an Optimate and an original front mudguard.

Senna & Ducati

In the early 1990s, Ayrton Senna was a dominant force in Formula 1, winning the World Drivers’ Championship in 1990 and 1991, before Williams’ active suspension temporarily changed the sport’s landscape. During those years, Senna grew a relationship with the family which owned Ducati at the time, and he owned several Ducati motorcycles himself.

His affinity with the Bologna brand led him to begin the development of a special edition motorcycle with Ducati. The intention was for the profits made on the sale of the special edition bikes to go to the charitable organisation that Senna was putting together. 

Senna’s fatal crash at the 1994 San Marino Grand Prix in Imola meant that the Brazilian was never able to see the realisation of either his charity, which was established under the name Instituto Ayrton Senna in November 1994, nor his special edition Ducati.

Ducati, nonetheless, continued the development of the special edition bike, and the Ducati 916 Senna was launched at the Bologna Motor Show in December 1994. Two subsequent ‘Senna’ editions were launched, the Senna III being the final one, and in each case, the net proceeds went to the Instituto Ayrton Senna.

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