Team M4 EMGO Suzuki ended the Mid-Ohio AMA racing weekend on a high note on Sunday, claiming a podium position and three top fives on the day.
Michael Barnes led the first nine laps of the once-red flagged Supersport final, twice charging into the lead at the green light aboard his Pirelli-shod GSX-R600. The Floridian put up a valiant fight to hold onto the top position before finally settling into third.
The third-place result was Barnes’ third podium finish in the hotly contested class this season. Afterwards ‘Barney’ was quick to credit his team but added that they’re looking to finish even higher on the podium before the season is out.
He said, “I just put my head down and tried to keep on doing what I was doing. I gave everything I could and this is where we ended up. We’ll keep plugging away and see if we can’t do even better next time. I’m real proud of my guys. The M4 EMGO Suzuki team and Pirelli tires have come along way this season and now we want to get on top of the box. We’re a little disappointed but we’re still working at it.”
Teammate Geoff May finished one position further down the order, coming out on top of a three-rider battle for the fourth. Once he finally worked past two of his rivals, he used his superior pace to open up a solid gap to fifth by the time he took the checkered flag in the 16-lap affair.
The team’s developmental rider, Shea Fouchek, gave the team three finishers in the Supersport race’s top 15. After qualifying in 22nd the Texan got up to 18th on the opening lap and eventually climbed his way to 15th by the race’s conclusion.
May also finished fourth in the day’s Superstock race, his seventh top four of the year in the big-bore class. The Georgian made an incredible save while running with the leaders on lap 7. Unfortunately, his near-crash dropped him down a position, and while he quickly made it up and moved back into fourth on the very next circulation aboard his powerful GSX-R1000, his moment allowed the top three riders to slip away and prevent May from fighting for the win.
Team M4 EMGO Suzuki will be back in action in two weeks time at Virginia International Raceway, on August 18-20 for the ninth of eleven rounds on the 2006 calendar.