Just days removed from his spectacular showing at the CCS/ASRA event at Daytona International Raceway last weekend, Team M4 EMGO Suzuki’s Geoff May came out swinging in the opening day of AMA roadracing competition for the 2006 season. Showing both impressive consistency and speed, the Georgian was near the top of the charts in all four classes on Wednesday.
With final events in Superstock and Supersport scheduled for Thursday, May qualified his Pirelli-shod GSX-Rs in the afternoon following top-five practice performances in the morning. He backed up his early-day form in the timed sessions by claiming a pair of front-row qualifying positions in the afternoon.
May guided his powerful GSX-R1000 Superstock machine around the famed circuit in a blistering 1:39.712 to earn the second spot on the grid for tomorrow’s 13-lap contest.
May wasn’t surprised by his strong performance, commenting, “We ran last weekend, and based on the test times set here back in December, we knew we would be in the hunt. The GSX-R1000 is really fast around here and that helps. I’ve been training and my mechanics have been working hard all winter for today and tomorrow.”
Immediately following Superstock qualifying, May returned to the track for Supersport qualifying. Once again he contested for the top spot, ultimately taking the fourth slot on the first row with a best time of 1:42.225 aboard his GSX-R600.
He also proved he’d be a force to be reckoned with in the premier Superbike class, posting the eighth fastest lap in the morning practice (1:39.840) and the tenth fastest lap in the afternoon practice (1:40.774) aboard his Superstock-spec 1000. Qualifying for Superbike Saturday’s race will take place on Thursday.
When teammate Michael Barnes was forced to withdraw from the weekend’s racing activities due to a knee injury suffered in a Wednesday fall, May volunteered to fill in aboard the squad’s Formula Xtreme GSX-R600 and take on a rare ‘iron man’ schedule, competing in all four classes.
Despite climbing on the FX machine for the first time in the afternoon practice, May still managed a respectable eighth-ranked showing with a fast lap of 1:43.893.
While Barnes won’t be able to add to the team’s success for the remainder of the weekend, Team M4 EMGO Suzuki will look to young Shea Fouchek to do the team proud. The developmental rider and former motocross standout opened his career with the team in AMA competition by qualifying on the inside of the sixth row for Thursday’s Superstock final. The Texan posted a best time of 1:46.932 during the session to qualifying 21st and expects to improve with added familiarity and experience in the team.