Team M4 EMGO Suzuki celebrated the close of their 25th anniversary season with a stellar day’s work at Road Atlanta. Geoff May brought his home crowd to their feet with a terrific charge to a podium finish in the final Superstock race of the year.
Both May and teammate Michael Barnes factored heavily in a huge dogfight at the front of the Superstock pack during the opening two-thirds of the race. The two ran together in fifth and sixth place until the final five laps when May got into a groove.
A pre-race set-up alteration worked perfectly to plan, allowing the Georgian to make an inspired charge as the laps wound down in the 15-lap final. He fought up from sixth and several seconds back to close right in on the leading two riders at the end of the race.
There he would stay, collecting a third-place finish aboard his Pirelli-shod GSX-R1000. It was May’s second podium finish of the season and the seventh on the year for Team M4 EMGO Suzuki.
May commented, “Going into it, I didn’t know what the weather was going to be like. I knew we had a really good race set-up and we switched it from this morning because we actually had too much grip. The power coming off the corners wasn’t controllable so we gambled on the set-up a little bit. At the beginning of the race I got a good start and put my head down. About mid-race it started coming to me and I was able to slide the thing and control the slide instead of it getting all out of shape on me. The lap times got back down close the 1:24s. Everybody started coming back to me and I was picking them off.”
May’s third place finish elevated him to eighth in the final championship standings with 189 points on the season.
While a set-up issue prevented Barnes from following his teammate up through the leaders, the Floridian still managed to finish a solid seventh in the race. It was another strong outing for the rider who came into the team at midseason to substitute for the vastly popular Vincent Haskovec. Despite racing only half the year, Barnes ended up ranked 16th in the standings with 131 points, claiming five top tens in six attempts to go along with his pair of Formula Xtreme podium finishes.
May wrapped up the season for Team M4 EMGO Suzuki in Sunday afternoon’s Supersport final. He finished in eighth place, less than a second behind the factory Suzuki entry. It was his eighth top ten of the year, which moved him up to fifth in the season standings with 228 points.