The opening day of the Infineon Raceway weekend was cut short for Team M4 EMGO Suzuki on Friday due to rainy weather. The steady precipitation caused the morning’s practice sessions to be halted and then continued on deep into the afternoon, bringing about an early conclusion to the day. Despite the abbreviated track time in Sonoma, California today, the squad quickly demonstrated that they’re capable of building on the early season form that has already allowed them to claim three podium finishes in the year’s first three race meetings.
The Formula Xtreme session was underway when rain caused the red flag to be shown around the 12-turn, 2.22-mile circuit. Before the practice’s early conclusion, Michael Barnes established himself atop of the order in his return to the class after missing the opening three FX rounds due to a knee injury. Despite a lack of track time aboard his Pirelli slick shod GSX-R600 FX racer in 2006, Barnes put in a lap of 1:40.177 to lead the way in the shortened session.
The Supersport free practice was run in its entirety prior to the Formula Xtreme session. Geoff May, who finished third in the Supersport race at Barber Motorsports Park earlier this year, posted the third best lap in the class this morning. The Georgian circulated the undulating Californian track in 1:39.246.
Barnes, who took second in the most recent Supersport race held at California Speedway, was also right in the mix. The Floridian was seventh fastest at 1:40.903.
Developmental rider Shea Fouchek was 19th best aboard his GSX-R600 this morning with a time of 1:44.039. The Texan is looking to work his up the charts this weekend as he continues to gain valuable experience with the team.
Team M4 EMGO Suzuki faces a full day’s work if the weather is agreeable on Saturday. Friday’s FX qualifying session was postponed and will likely be added to a revised schedule on Saturday that already includes qualifying for both Supersport and Superstock, as well as the 17-lap Formula Xtreme final.