Modena first made in 1986 with a fourth place in the Italian Formula 3 attention. The following year he raced in the Formula 3000 and won the championship directly in this series for the Onyx team. At the end of the season of the Formula 1 season 1987 he made his debut at the Australian Grand Prix for Brabham - BMW.
In 1988 he started twelve times for EuroBrun, 1989 and 1990, he drove 31 races for Brabham, 1991, he was at 16 race for Tyrrell while and in his final season in 1992 he competed in twelve races for Jordan. His best results were a third place finish at the Grand Prix of Monaco in 1989 and second place in the Grand Prix of Canada 1991.
Of his total of 72 starts 70 races counted, he was twice disqualified. He achieved a total of 17 championship points.
From 1993 until 2000 he drove in the Italian and German touring car series for Alfa Romeo and last year for Opel, before he ended his active career in motorsport.