Team M4 EMGO Suzuki opened the first day of AMA competition at the brand-new Miller Motorsports Park in Tooele, UT in tremendous fashion on Friday. The squad topped the practice leaderboards twice during the day, with Geoff May posting the best time in Superstock and Michael Barnes and May combining to score an impressive 1-2 result for the team in the Supersport session.
After posting the fastest time in Superstock at 1:52.010 and the second fastest time in Supersport at 1:55.470, May claimed that his style and the 3.048-mile circuit were a perfect match for each other.
The Georgian said, “The Pirelli tires are working awesome here and the track really suits my style. It’s flowing and fast, just the kind of racetrack I enjoy to ride on. Everything is all just coming together — maybe since the track is off exit ‘99’ that has something to do with it. We’re just out here having fun and that’s usually when you go the fastest.”
Michael Barnes got his weekend off on the right foot as well, setting the pace in the morning’s Supersport session with a 1:54.910 lap time — more than a half-second quicker than any other rider could manage. The Floridian entered the weekend with momentum on his side; he has finished on the podium in the most recent two Supersport contests and looks well positioned to add to his streak in Utah.
‘Barney’ also ran in the top four in the morning Formula Xtreme practice with a 1:54.191 lap aboard his Pirelli slick-shod GSX-R600 FX racer. However, he was unable to match the time during qualifying after suffering a crash in the session. He still managed to secure a spot on the second row, however, qualifying in the sixth position with a best time of 1:54.962.
The team’s developmental rider, Shea Fouchek, put in a top-20 showing on Friday at Miller Motorsports Park. The Texan registered a best lap of 1:59.656 during the Supersport practice, good enough for 19th overall.
Team M4 EMGO Suzuki Crew Chief Keith Perry said, “The Pirellis are working well, our riders like this type of track, and the bikes are running good. It seems like we just happen to be especially strong at the faster tracks for whatever reason. It’s hard to say why. But the guys are working hard and it’s really paying off. I’m happy with where we’re at. It’s nice to see your guys at the top of the charts.”
On Saturday the team will look to continue their excellent form during the Superstock and Supersport qualifying sessions and then Barnes will round out the day in the 13-lap Formula Xtreme final.