Team M4 EMGO Suzuki’s Michael Barnes finished a close fourth in Saturday’s Formula Xtreme race at Road America after a spirited ride on his Suzuki GSX-R600. ‘Barney’ ran in third for much of the Formula Xtreme race, but lost out when a full-factory rider passed him on the final lap.
“Obviously, I’m not stoked about losing out on a podium position but we had some real consistent lap times late in the race and we can hold our heads high,” said Barnes.
Barnes has always been strong in Elkhart Lake and led last year’s Superstock race for the team. “I’ve raced here many years and it’s a great track. The Pirelli tires seem to work well here and the Team M4 EMGO Suzukis have a lot of power and handle well,” said the veteran racer from Florida. “We were able to put some good times in and I feel just as comfortable on the Supersport bike as I do the Formula Xtreme bike. Our goal is to get a good start and hopefully pull it through to the end of the race.”
Barnes is well positioned to do just that after qualifying second on the grid for Sunday’s 60k Supersport final aboard his GSX-R600 with a blisteringly quick 2:19.344 lap time.
Teammate Geoff May expects to join Barnes in the podium hunt in the Supersport contest. The Georgian will start from the inside of the second row after clocking a 2: 20.786 — the fifth best time of the qualifying session.
The squad’s developmental rider, Shea Fouchek, qualified 31st overall at 2:26.685.
May is also excited about his prospects in the Superstock race. After leading last year’s Superstock final deep into the race only to be dropped back to second on the final lap, May has been waiting a full year to seek his revenge.
He’s been among the fastest men all weekend long aboard his fire-breathing GSX-R1000, registering second and fourth-place practice performances. May will open Sunday’s 10-lap final from the fifth spot on the grid after posting a best time of 2: 14.881 in qualifying.