Geoff May and Michael Barnes put in stellar efforts on Saturday at Mid-Ohio for Team M4 EMGO Suzuki, combining to score a top-five race result and three qualifying positions in the top five.
Starting from the sixth spot on the grid in the 16-lap Formula Xtreme race, Barnes worked his way up to fourth by the tenth lap aboard his Pirelli slick-shod GSX-R600 racer. The Floridian was involved in a dogfight in an attempt to secure the position, but in the end he fell just 0.297 seconds short of the spot, claiming a still-solid fifth at the flag.
Team M4 EMGO Suzuki will be out for podium placings on Sunday at the undulating 2.4-mile long circuit. May and Barnes will start alongside each other on the front row for the Supersport contest. May qualified second best at 1: 28.190 while Barnes was just one spot further down in third at 1:28.229.
May expects to be in contention aboard his fire-breathing GSX-R1000 as well, qualifying a close fifth at 1:26.856 in Superstock.
“It was a productive day,” the Georgia native commented. “We’re not quite where we want to be on the 1000 but it’s a slower process than the 600. You can’t really override it like you can a 600 and make the time come. I think we’ll be better off tomorrow. We’re looking really good for the race. We’ve been focused all weekend on race set-up instead of fast laps, so we’ll just have to see how the race shakes out. I know that we’re quicker on the Pirelli tires at the beginning than my rivals are for sure. Those guys are really having to take it easy on the first couple of laps. I’ve seen that all weekend. I think that might be our strong point. If we can get a really good launch and get out front and get a gap, maybe there will be chaos behind us and allow us to get away.”
“Supersport is looking really good,” he continued. “I really feel confident on the 600. It’s come a long way this year in its development. The guys at M4 Exhausts have done a killer job finding me more and more power and Pirelli has done a really good job bringing me stuff from World Supersport. We’ve switched tire sizes recently back to the 180 on the rear and that’s made the biggest difference in the world as far as the lap times. I feel confident. If things go our way I don’t think a win is out of the question.”
Following his strong Friday performance, development rider Shea Fouchek qualified on the sixth row for Sunday’s Supersport race. He was 22nd quickest in the session, lapping with a best time of 1:32.633.