Lloyd Brothers Motorsports’ Henry Wiles will be back on the Ducati for this weekend’s Lima Half Mile, the Michigander hoping to make history as the only non-Honda or Harley rider to win a Grand National Half Mile in the last 35 years.
Joe Kopp was the last rider to win on a Ducati, the now-retired 2000 AMA Grand National Champion riding the Lloyd Brothers Ducati to victory in the Prescott Mile in Arizona. With that win in 2010, Kopp became the first non-Honda RS750 or XR750 winner in 28 years, but it came on a mile and not a half mile.
The team believes the pea-gravel and cushioned half mile of Lima will favor the Ducati as the team continues to switch between the Italian V-twin and its Harley-Davidson XR750. A Harley has won every half mile National in the last 15 years – 101 victories, according to the team.
“We are very confident in the equipment we have built this season for Henry to contest the championship,” Brent Armbruster, the team’s crew chief said. “As we continue to develop the Ducati, we realize that it has the potential to become one of the best overall machines in which to challenge for the number-one plate. We will continue development while at the same time giving Henry exactly what he needs to effectively compete for the championship.”