MAY AND BARNES QUALIFY IN COLORADO
Team M4 EMGO Suzuki had little time to regroup from the difficult race weekend in Sonoma, CA, returning to the racetrack less than a week later at Pikes Peak International Raceway near Fountain, Colorado, for the fifth stop on the 2005 AMA roadracing calendar.
With this weekend’s racing at PPIR fit into a compact two-day schedule, the team had to work flat-out to get up to speed as quickly as possible. That was particularly true in the case of Michael Barnes, making his debut with team filling in for the injured Vincent Haskovec.
Despite the late nature of his entry and the short race weekend, Barnes put in a remarkable performance on Saturday, posting qualifying times that earned him second row grid positions in both Formula Xtreme and Superstock despite a fall that caused him to only attempt a minimum number of laps.
Barnes qualified fifth aboard the team’s Pirelli-shod GSX-R600 FX racer with a best time of 56.172 around the tight 1.315-mile circuit. The Floridian further impressed by posting a 55.531 in Superstock, sixth fastest in a class he didn’t even plan on racing this weekend prior to Friday’s promoter practice.
Crew Chief Keith Perry commented, “I thought Mike did extremely well today, especially on the 1000, which he had never ridden before he got here yesterday. He’s adapted to it pretty well and he’s likes the bike. We couldn’t ask for anything better than what he did in qualifying.”
Unfortunately, Barnes suffered a crash on Saturday and was shaken up. He’s being checked out tonight by medical personnel and his status for Sunday is still to be determined.
Speaking about whether or not Barnes will likely race in both classes tomorrow, Perry said, “We’ll see how his little bang-up is treating him tomorrow. I think if the weather is like they are predicting it, it would be a plus for him riding both races. He initially was only going to ride the GSX-R 600 until he got on the 1000 yesterday. He went so well and liked it so much, we decided to continue on. I think the main thing is to see how he feels tomorrow and we’ll go from there. There is a break between the two races and it looks to me likely he’ll run both.”
Geoff May enjoyed a strong day as well, qualifying his GSX-R600 Supersport bike on the second row. The Georgian registered a best time of 56.646 to set the seventh best time in Supersport qualifying. His lap was second fastest among Suzuki-mounted riders, trailing only the factory GSX-R600.
May then broke into the 55s aboard his GSX-R1000 Superstock machine, posting a 55.999. The time was the eleventh best of the session, good enough to put him on the third row for tomorrow’s 60k race.
Perry said of May’s day, “We’re just sorting out some set-up issues with Geoff’s bike, but he’s coming along. He’s gaining confidence in what we’re doing and getting the bike to do what he wants it to do.”
Team M4 EMGO Suzuki will finish out the Pikes Peak International Raceway weekend tomorrow with 29-lap finals in Formula Xtreme, Supersport, and Superstock.