Team M4 EMGO Suzuki made the final Saturday of the 2005 season one to remember at Road Atlanta. The squad claimed their sixth podium finish of the year and also put in solid qualifying performance in preparation of Sunday’s Supersport and Superstock finales.
Michael Barnes got off to a quick start aboard his Pirelli-shod GSX-R600 in the last race of the Formula Xtreme season. The Floridian held down third position for the opening 12 laps of the 60k contest before a handling issue to surfaced for the Floridian.
While he was unable to prevent a rival from moving past into the position, a last-lap crash by the leader elevated Barnes back up to third. He held the position to the checkered flag, earning his second podium finish of the season.
After the race, “Barney” said, “I got a strong start and pulled away from fourth place at what was for me a pretty comfortable pace. I don’t know if it was a little higher track temperature that maybe affected my set-up a little bit, but I started having a minor problem with the front. I had to back it down a little bit and that was just enough to cause me to get caught.”
He continued, “The M4 EMGO Suzuki guys just worked great and my Suzuki ran awesome the whole race. And my tires were real good too — I think it was just the set-up that I missed a little bit.”
Barnes also put in an impressive ride aboard his GSX-R1000 Superstock machine, qualifying in the top five in the hotly contested class. Barnes registered a best time of 1:24.500 around the 2.52-mile circuit to secure the fifth spot on the grid for Sunday’s 15-lap Superstock final.
Teammate Geoff May was right on his heels. The Georgian turned a 1:24.684 lap time in the Superstock session, which was strong enough to see him join Barnes on the second row of the grid. He’ll start from the seventh position.
May also rode well in Supersport qualifying, putting in a best lap of 1:27.526. He was the eighth fastest rider in the session and earned a spot on the outside of the second row as a result.
Team M4 EMGO Suzuki will round out the 2005 AMA season with the Superstock and Supersport season finales at Road Atlanta on Sunday afternoon.