Geoff May led the Barber Superbike race briefly on Sunday, marking the first time a Buell has led an American Superbike race. (Nelson-Riles photo)
It was quiet an amazing thing to see – during the Sunday Barber Superbike race Geoff May, riding a Buell, chased down and passed the leaders to briefly take the lead. It was a historic moment in the series, the first time a Buell has ever led an American SuperBike race and the first time an American-made motorcycle has led an American Superbike race since Thomas Wilson led in the rain at Mid-Ohio back in 1997 on a Harley-Davidson VR1000.
Actually leading a national on the underdog Buell (a motorcycle that isn’t even for sale any longer) was a cause of major celebration in the Buell pits. It was a testimony to the team chipping away and improving the motorcycle all season and to the renewed vigor of Geoff May, a former AMA Superbike Rookie of the Year.
I talked with May on the phone about what it felt like to lead Barber, how the team got there and what his plans for the future are. He gave me some amazing insights into what is planned for next season.
May, who was battling a cold, sounded incredibly optimistic about the future for Buell in Superbike competition. If things go according to plan a completely new Erik Buell bike will be on the Superbike grid next year and if what May says is true, the bike could truly be a championship contender.
It’s one of the biggest stories going into the 2011 season. One of the potential bright spots that could help restore the popularity of the championship.
What were you thinking when you got into the lead at Barber?
May, Geoff 1
What changes did your team make to the bike before the race?
May, Geoff 2
What was the reaction of Erik Buell and your crew when you took the lead?
May, Geoff 3
Your results steadily improved as the season went on. That has to be a positive for you and the team.
May, Geoff 4
You’ve been a factory-back rider and now you’re racing for a small, underfunded team. Do you feel a bit like you’re starting from square one?
May, Geoff 5
What’s your feeling now about racing for the Buell squad?
May, Geoff 6
What can you tell us about how things shaping up for next year?
May, Geoff 7
Have you tested the prototype of the new bike?
May, Geoff 8
When do you think you’ll find out if the bike is approved?
May, Geoff 9
Do you think much about potentially being the rider on an American-made motorcycle that could be the first true homegrown contender to win an American Superbike championship?
May, Geoff 10