Veteran racer Michael Barnes has agreed to race the 2007 AMA season with Team M4 EMGO Suzuki.
“The team made me an offer I couldn’t refuse,” joked Barnes about his re-signing. “The crew and I have come into our own this year on the Supersport bike. We know each other well and work great together. I’m looking forward to next year with these guys.”
Barnes, who has finished on the podium four times in Supersport this season, has performed admirably for the squad since joining the team in the middle of 2005. The Boca Raton, Florida native earned two podium finishes in Formula Xtreme last year.
Despite a Daytona injury that left him in struggling for the first races of 2006, Barnes has fought his way to fifth in the championship with one round to go, competing at the front of the Supersport pack on his Suzuki GSX-R600. The last three races have seen the 37-year old lead the most laps at Mid-Ohio and lead the opening laps in Virginia and Atlanta.
“It seems like we’re getting closer and closer for the Supersport win at every race. We’ve got the starts figured out. Tire development with Pirelli has come on strong all year as we get more and more data. We’ve also worked closely with Ohlins this year and made progress with the bike’s suspension as well. I know the team is looking forward to working hard this winter and continuing to develop our bikes.”
With Barnes re-signing, Team M4 EMGO Suzuki retains their one-two punch in the Supersport class. Michael’s teammate Geoff May (currently second in AMA Supersport points) also has agreed to remain with the Team M4 EMGO Suzuki for next season.
“Barney has been a great addition to the team,” said Crew Chief Keith Perry. “He’s a smart, veteran racer that knows the ropes and he’s got the fire in him, too. It’s good to see a guy that’s been around the block more than once have success after working hard for his whole career. We’re looking forward to racing with him again next season. With both Michael and Geoff already signed up, we can look forward to continuing our momentum.”