Giandrea Fabbro-The unknown Ducati 1098 designer
Giandrea Fabbro is a young Italian designer that now is a senior designer at Ducati. Whilst Terblanche now is sort of relegated to Sport Classics Fabbro got the huge responsibility to design the 1098. The 999 designed by Pierre Terblanche was a nice superbike, but never ever did it get the same praise from all over the world as the old 916 design crafted by the master himself, Massimo Tamburini. Claudio Castiglioni’s Cagiva owned Ducati when that design was launched in 1994. In 2006 Ducati decided to go as much back to the 1994 roots as possible whilst still keeping the new 1098 modern for many years.
We spoke to Giandrea Fabbro in front of the 1098 at the Ducati stand at the EICMA show in Milan.
Words & Photo: Tor Sagen
TS: What was your design philosophy with the new 1098?
“It was to design a sportbike without any compromise, without any understatement and the image had to be sport. That’s why it is much pointier than before.”
TS: Did you take much influence from the old 916?
“Of course, you cannot avoid that. So we tried to interpret the styling clues of the 916 in a modern way. We then designed a pointy cowling, I mean fairing.”
TS: I think the 1098 looks very aerodynamic. Did you take something from the Desmosedici RR too?
“Maybe just a little bit concerning the air-intake. We need that sort of air-intake because of the silencer underneath.”
TS: Was it a daunting task for you to design the 1098? Did you feel that you were competing with Tamburinis design?
“No, no one can compete with Tamburini. I just wanted to renew his, or maybe more correct to say, the Ducati style.”
TS: What about Pierre Terblanche and the difference between his 999 and the 916? Do you feel people were disappointed when it was launched?
“Not really, maybe Ducati have a strong image that deflected the place of Pierre. But people really liked the old Ducati (916/996/998)”
TS: Let’s talk about the 1098, is it completely your signature work?
“I think my signature is in my drawings. You know, I have my dreams and take care of the creative. Other people work on different parts of the bike. My creative department are closely connected to the technical department. Part of the success of a bike is its technical specs. It is always like this.”
TS: Are there any major compromise that you had to make during the design process?
“The technical department were too kind and they always supported me. There are no compromises in the styling.”