In September 2000 I was in Italy and paid a visit to Maurizio Bavarescu, better known as Mr Pompone, at his restaurant near Paderno del Grappa. It turned out my timing was spot on as he invited me to accompany a group of riders (some of who had travelled down from Sweden!) that had gathered to head down to Ing. Fabio Taglioni’s 80th birthday celebrations the next day. The event was being held in Taglioni’s home town of Lugo di Romagna, not far from Bologna, which meant that I was in for a very “interesting” drive as tail end charlie in my Peugeot 206 rental car, while trying to keep up with a dozen well ridden bikes down the autostrada! My foot was flat to the floor for most of the 5 hour round trip…
The party was quite an event with about a hundred or more Ducatisti, family, friends and colleagues gathered to honour this remarkable man who had started his engineering career consulting for Ceccato in 1950 after graduating from Bologna university.
Taglioni moved to FB Mondial in 1952, then in 1954 to Ducati as the head of design. And there he stayed until he officially retired in 1989! During those 35 years he designed over 1000 different engines – either in detail on paper through to full production. Not to mention the odd racing design!
He was obviously in poor health (suffering from throat cancer after a lifetime of smoking) but very much enjoying himself. And when one of his 1973 Imola racers was started up he slowly made his way to it, climbed aboard and revved it all the way to its redline, a massive grin on his face the whole time. Mine weren’t the only eyes with tears in them.
Fabio Taglioni died nine months later in July 2001.
Phil Aynsley sadly passed away in 2023 after a life spent travelling the world photographing many of the rarest and most beautiful motorcycles ever made. We are proud to continue showcasing his catalogue of work on MCNews.com.au.
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