M4 MPH Suzuki’s Melissa Paris entered the Barber Motorsports Park round of the 2015 MotoAmerica season riding high, buoyed both by the recent support she’s received from her fan base and the achievement of her career-best equaling finish of eighth last time out. Paris left Birmingham, Alabama with her momentum intact, as she continued to progress with another solid outing during the weekend’s Supersport competition.
Paris showed strong pace on her Team Hammer Contract Services supported GSXR-600, getting down to personal best lap times around the tight course, ultimately qualifying 13th at 1:31.994. She then proceeded to slash nearly a half second off in Saturday’s race en route to a promising 13th place result. She backed that up with another points paying finish in Sunday’s Supersport contest, coming home in 14th.
“Saturday was a pretty good day at the track for me,” she said. “I got down to a decent time in qualifying; the best I’d ever gone at this track. My goal was to improve in the race on that and get faster. I got one of the worst starts ever, but it turned out to be a good race, actually. I went faster in a hot race than I ever have, and I made a couple of moves I was proud of. I was very happy with the race and looking to move up into the next group. On Sunday, I struggled and for sure I didn’t make the progress I wanted. I’m disappointed not to go forward again but I won’t let that take away from the progress that’s been happening.”
Paris explained that her Barber Motorsports Park performance was particularly inspired due to the tremendous support she enjoyed during a recent successful crowdfunding campaign to secure the funding she required to complete the ’15 season.
Paris said, “Over the past month or so, we had the Dark Horse Pros campaign and it ended just before the weekend started. Over 300 people contributed and that meant a lot to me. Now I can finish the season and I am feeling very inspired. I feel like I am racing for the people that helped me.”
She has no plans of slowing down now, with an eye toward lifting her game ahead of the Miller Motorsports Park round, which will take place on June 26-28 in Tooele, Utah. She said, “Between races, I am going to do some flat track. The races are short and it puts you in a mindset of being aggressive on the start. That’s the plan, to get more aggressive on my starts for the next races.”