Saturday was a mixed bag for Team M4 EMGO Suzuki at Barber Motorsports Park. The squad excelled in the day’s qualifying sessions, claiming three front row grid positions for Sunday’s finals, but had a tough outing in the Formula Xtreme contest.
Teammates Michael Barnes and Geoff May will start tomorrow’s 17-lap Supersport final alongside each other on row one. Barnes posted the third fastest time (1:27.493) during qualifying aboard his Pirelli-shod Suzuki GSX-R600 Supersport racer. May was only fractionally behind, setting the fourth best lap of the session at 1: 27.502.
Team M4 EMGO Suzuki will be represented by three riders on the front three rows of the Supersport race as up-and-comer Michael Beck qualified 12th in the class with a lap of 1:28.668.
May will also start tomorrow’s Superstock final from the outside of row one, as the Georgian qualified fourth fastest in the big bore class aboard his fire-breathing GSX-R1000. He set a best time of 1: 26.157 around the hilly Alabama racetrack.
The team entered Saturday’s 17-lap Formula Xtreme contest with high hopes after Barnes qualified just over a tenth of a second off of the pole in Friday’s qualifying session. Unfortunately, a technical issue prevented the Floridian from riding up to his full potential. Barnes soldiered on, however, picking up some very valuable championship points finishing in 15th position.
Afterwards, Crew Chief Keith Perry said, “Every few seasons you’re going to have a race impacted by a mechanical problem. Unfortunately, today was that day for us. ‘Barney’ was a trooper though, and I’m really proud of the effort he gave for us out there today.”
“We’re looking to make up for it tomorrow,” Perry continued. “We were strong in qualifying today and we expect to be contenders in Sunday’s races.”