Team M4 EMGO Suzuki completed a tremendously successful 2006 AMA road racing season with yet another stand-out weekend at the Mid-Ohio finale. Riders Geoff May and Michael Barnes combined to score three podiums and secure a pair of top-three championship rankings on the final day of the season.
May and Barnes continued their incredible string of results in the highly competitive Supersport class aboard their Pirelli-shod Suzuki GSX-R600s. Starting from the top two positions on the grid, the two came home with their third consecutive double podium finish.
Barnes, who led laps 3 through 8 of the 16-lap affair, held off teammate May to take the runner-up spot at the checkered flag, his sixth podium result of the year. Barnes’ fantastic finish saw him leap up from fifth to third in the final 2006 Supersport standings.
Afterwards the Floridian said, “I had about a second on them for a few laps there. I tried to maintain and go for it, but we just didn’t have enough at the end. Hopefully we can get a little more work done over the winter. We’ve come such a long ways with Pirelli and we want to continue making those types of improvements this winter and next season.”
“Finishing third in the championship is great,” ‘Barney added. “I’m ecstatic about that. It’s a pretty good accomplishment after not having been able to race Daytona after an injury. I’m really pleased. That means both Geoff and I are top three and that’s great for the team. I’m wanting us to keep up the hard work we’ve been putting in this winter and win some races next year. As great as it is getting on the box all the time, this is getting frustrating getting so close. We’re ready to win some races.”
May’s third-place finish was his fifth Supersport podium of ’06, which allowed him to claim second in the season’s rankings. “I’m definitely happy,” he said. “The goal is to finish first and for me, coming into my second year riding 600s, that was a big task. We wanted to win some races and be in the hunt for the championship. Coming in second is pretty good. If you can’t be first, second is pretty dang good. We’re happy, the crew is happy, and it’s pretty motivating for next year coming out in second. Hopefully we can just go forward from here.”
Georgian May came back later on Sunday to also finish third in the Superstock race aboard his GSX-R1000, his second podium of the season in the big bore category.
Afterwards he remarked, “In the Superstock race I gave everything I had. I was hanging it out, standing on the pegs and spinning the thing up. I had a good time — it was like riding dirt bikes in the backyard. It’s been a wild weekend and to end up with two podiums is really nice.”
Barnes gave Team M4 EMGO Suzuki a fourth top-five finish on the day in the Formula Xtreme final, piloting his GSX-R600 FX racer to a lonely fourth place result. He took sixth in the class’ final standings on the basis of solid and consistent placings throughout the year.