Team M4 EMGO Suzuki’s Michael Barnes and Geoff May will open their bid to duplicate their VIR dual podium result from the front row in Sunday’s 15-lap AMA Supersport final at Road Atlanta.
Barnes led the way for the squad, narrowly missing out on pole position by a scant 0.062 seconds. The Floridian claimed the second slot on the front row with a blazing 1:26.033 lap aboard his Pirelli-shod GSX-R600 during qualifying on Saturday.
“We have a good race tire for the Supersport race and learned a lot in the last few sessions. It’s all about getting a good start and preparing for the end of the race. We’re excited,” said Barnes.
One day after inking a contract extension with Team M4 EMGO Suzuki, May earned the outside starting spot on the front row in Supersport. The Georgian, who hails from Gainesville, GA, just a handful of miles from the Road Atlanta circuit, laid down a 1: 26.505 lap during the timed session.
Third rider Shea Fouchek will start the Supersport race from the inside of the fifth row, qualifying 17th fastest at 1:30.334.
After qualifying, Barnes competed in the Formula Xtreme contest. Clinging onto the escaping leaders as long as he possibly could, ‘Barney’ ran in fifth place for all 15 laps of the contest. The end result was his seventh FX top five in his last eight outings.
“Lonely,” Barnes joked after the race. “I got a good start but the other guys got away. We didn’t test here and maybe never got things exactly as we’d like. Still, we learned a lot and we’ll move onward.”
May will have two opportunities to impress in front of the home crowd on Sunday. In addition to his front-row Supersport qualifying performance, he also qualified sixth fastest aboard his GSX-R1000 in preparation for tomorrow’s Superstock race.
Geoff clocked a 1:24.154 during the session and is hoping that tomorrow he’ll repeat his podium performance from a year ago aboard the big bore machine at Road Atlanta.