DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – Lloyd Brothers Motorsports has announced that three-time AFT race winner Stevie Bonsey will join the team and ride a liquid-cooled Ducati Testastretta 821 in select American Flat Track events this season.
The Dillard Family Racing/Lloyd Brothers Motorsports Ducati squad will be gunning for victory in 10 races, starting with the next event on the calendar – the Harley-Davidson Atlanta Short Track presented by Hellbender Harley-Davidson at Dixie Speedway on April 7.
The team will then head to the Arizona Mile, the Sacramento Mile, both Springfield Miles, the Red Mile, OKC Mile, the Lima Half-Mile, the Minnesota Mile and the season-ending Meadowlands Mile.
“We are excited to welcome another manufacturer to American Flat Track in this break-out season,” said Michael Lock, CEO of American Flat Track. “Ducati boasts a great racing heritage in MotoGP and World Superbike, and the Lloyd Brothers team know their way around the unique technology and engineering of this famous Italian brand better than anyone in the AFT paddock. Flat Track fans all across the world have another great reason to follow the 2018 season.”
Bonsey, a former Grand Prix motorcycle racer who logged four top-ten 125cc finishes one decade ago, has a unique story.
He was one of the hottest riders on the AFT circuit in 2016, before a massive crash resulted in a broken neck, bringing his season to a premature end. A planned comeback in 2017 was largely derailed by an offseason ACL tear and lingering numbness as result of his C1 cervical spine fracture.
Bonsey finally returned to the fray in last year’s season finale. There, he promptly battled up front, finishing fourth and landing just 0.041 seconds off the podium.
“I feel very privileged to get a chance to ride for Lloyd Brothers Motorsports Ducati for the 2018 season,” Bonsey said. “It’s going to be a challenging season with a class full of Indians, but I truly believe we have a bike and a team more than capable of going to the front. I’m ready to grab the bull by the horns.”
“We are very happy to have Ducati involved with both our team and the AFT series,” added team co-owner David Lloyd. “Since 2010, we have been racing air-cooled Ducati two-valve engines and have managed one Main Event win and three second-place finishes despite racing the Ducati no more than six times a season.
“Last year we put together two proof-of-concept race bikes built around the liquid-cooled, four-valve, Testastretta 11° engine,” Lloyd added. “The bike showed very well the few times it was on track. With our latest revisions, we are excited and thankful to have sponsorship to be able to race our new Ducati Testastretta 821 in 10 races with one of the most talented riders in the series in Stevie Bonsey.”
Lloyd Brothers Motorsports and Ducati made history together in 2010, snapping Harley-Davidson’s near two-decade run of uninterrupted dominance at the series’ Miles with a victory at the Arizona Mile.
An expanded 2018 effort with Bonsey at the controls is an indication of Ducati’s commitment to add to that maiden and – to date – sole American Flat Track victory.
“We knew that this combination of team, rider and bike would give the Ducati brand an opportunity to contend with the best in the field in the fastest-growing motorcycle sport in the U.S.,” said Jason Chinnock, CEO of Ducati North America. “We’ve given our Ducati fans a team to cheer on, and we’re excited to see progress in action as the season develops.”