Team M4 EMGO Suzuki completed a two-day test at Barber Motorsports Park on Tuesday. For the team, it was an opportunity to prepare for next month’s race at the facility located just a couple of hours from the M4 EMGO Suzuki race shop. The team’s regular riders, Geoff May and Shea Fouchek, were joined by Kurtis Roberts, who filled in for the injured Michael Barnes at the test.
“I think it went really well,” said Roberts, “both lap-time wise and the overall experience. The team is made up of a bunch of good guys that work hard and want to win. I thought the Pirellis were really fun to ride. The have different characteristics to some of the tires I’ve ridden on in the past, but they gave good feel. I had never ridden a production Suzuki of any kind before and I enjoyed it, too.”
During the two-day test, Roberts, a former Birmingham Superbike race winner, saw his lap times comparable to the series regulars in Formula Xtreme. “During both days, I was only on race tires. We didn’t make many suspension changes at all,” said Kurtis. “I just rode it to get back in the rhythm since I hadn’t ridden a road race bike since November. The lap times were close to what it will take, so I’m quite happy. If I was to race this bike for the team, a podium or win isn’t out of the question, I don’t think.
“Everything was positive about the test. We’ll just have to see how it goes as far as a deal to race the bike. I do know it was nice to be on a competitive motorbike again,” said Roberts.
“Kurtis did a great job for us,” said Team M4 EMGO Suzuki’s Keith Perry. “He did some really respectable lap times. We got good feedback with the tires and settings. As the Crew Chief, I thought he did well.”
Geoff May also turned in a solid performance on his Superstock and Supersport Suzuki GSX-Rs. “We really came close to breaking into the 1:26 range on the Superstock bike with Geoff. You can tell Geoff is really focused this year,” said Perry. “You can tell he’s testing well and riding the bike hard in the practice and the races. I’ve gotten a lot of comments from around the paddock about how well Geoff is doing. He’s really smooth and under control and fast. I think he’s made the jump. I think he’s going to be in there all year.”
The team’s development rider Shea Fouchek continued his learning year at Barber. “Shea was struggling a little bit but he steadily improved over the course of the two days,” said Perry. “He’s a young rider and just needs more experience and time on the bike.”