Team M4 EMGO Suzuki added to their trophy collection this weekend at Road Atlanta as Geoff May and Michael Barnes came through to claim their second consecutive double podium finish in the AMA Supersport class aboard their Pirelli-shod GSX-R600s. It was the third time in 2006 that May and Barnes have stood on the Supersport podium together.
May put together a rock-solid outing, moving up into third on lap seven of fifteen and then taking over second place on lap nine. Teammate Barnes got off to another of his trademark quick starts, storming into the lead early before dropping back to fourth at mid-distance.
The two M4 EMGO Suzuki riders turned it up late, with May holding down the runner-up position and Barnes moving into third and pressuring May to the checkered flag.
May, from nearby Gainesville, GA, was pleased to have given his home fans what they came to see, particularly after his disappointing ninth-place Superstock finish earlier in the day aboard the team’s GSX-R1000.
May’s fourth Supersport podium of the season saw him take over second place in the class’ title race with just one event remaining.
Afterwards he said, “I feel like my guys deserve our spot in the points. We had a little problem at Miller and we’ve been fighting for every single point since then, just trying to scratch and get as many as we can. It feels good and hopefully that’s where we end up at the end of the year. That’s the gameplan.”
Commenting on the race, the Georgian remarked, “‘Barney’ was riding really well. He really pushed me out there today. He put a lot of pressure on me and he rode clean, too. It was a good weekend, all in all. Pirelli keeps working harder and harder and I think that next year we’re really going to have some good stuff when they bring out the new World Supersport tires they’ve been working on.”
For Barnes, the result was his third straight top-three and fifth Supersport podium finish of the year. He commented, “When a few guys passed me early I thought, ‘I can’t let this happen,’ so I picked it up. I was just trying to get with Geoff and he was putting together some really good laps. It was just a matter of trying to put together some real good laps at the end, which I did. The Pirelli tires have really come along real good this year. Especially this race, they were the strongest they’ve been at the end of the race all year I believe.”
“I can’t just thank these guys enough for putting together such a solid team,” he continued. “These bikes are incredible. I’m looking forward to going back to Ohio again because it’s kind of like we’ve tested there. We’re going back there with some data and I’m planning on getting the holeshot again.”
Shea Fouchek rounded out the weekend for Team M4 EMGO Suzuki with an 18th place ride in the Supersport race.
The 2006 season will wrap up in just a few weeks with a return visit to Mid-Ohio for the AMA road racing finale on September 29-October 1.