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Jul 19, 2018

​MotoAmerica: Geoff May Returning To Top-Level Motorcycle Road Racing

Geoff May Thursday at Utah Motorsports Campus. Photo by David Swarts, copyright Roadracing World Publishing, Inc.

After a career that has spanned two decades and appeared as if it was winding down in terms of prestige but certainly not speed, Geoff May is returning to the highest level of motorcycle road racing in America, the MotoAmerica Superbike Championship.

“[Omega Moto Team Owner] Ken Chewey reached out to me, sent me a message on Facebook saying, ‘Hey, would you be interested in finishing out the rest of the season with us?’” May told Roadracingworld.com Thursday in the paddock at Utah Motorsports Campus, where he will take over the Yamaha YZF-R1 Superbike raced by Sebastiao Ferreira up until this point of the season. “We talked about it, and it made sense. It’s kind of what I’ve been waiting for. Well, not waiting. The reason I haven’t been in MotoAmerica is there just hasn’t been anything that’s come along that really made sense or I could make work with my current life, my job, my wife, my son, and where I am now. And this kind of fell in perfectly. It’s not that I haven’t wanted to race in MotoAmerica.”

May started his career racing as a privateer in Formula USA and then the AMA Pro Superbike Championship, and in spite of a very limited budget and racing against the likes of Mat Mladin, Aaron Yates, Jamie Hacking, and Miguel Duhamel, he regularly finished in the top 10. This led to May getting hired to ride for other teams and winning AMA Pro races, which led to him becoming a factory rider for Erik Buell Racing (EBR) in AMA Pro Superbike and the Superbike World Championship.

When May’s tenure with EBR ended, paid professional rides were becoming more and more rare and May had no choice but to go the privateer route again. That, however, didn’t prevent May from earning multiple pole positions and multiple podium finishes at the Daytona 200.

Along the way, May realized that he would need to find a new career and worked to become a mortgage banker with CBC National Bank, but he has continued racing on weekends, winning national races with WERA and ASRA, earning manufacturer contingency money, and running very fast lap times – sometimes even breaking track records.

“It’s kind of weird,” said May. “I feel like I’ve had three distinct careers. So I’m looking at this [return] as my racing career Version 4.0.”

Having said that and pointed out that he’s probably riding more than ever and as good as ever, running lap times on his mildly tuned Kawasaki and BMW racebikes at places like Road Atlanta and VIRginia International Raceway that would place him well inside the top 10 at MotoAmerica events, May said he’s trying to avoid setting high expectations for himself upon his return.

“[Expectations] can lead to disappointment and not having fun,” said May. “Right now I’m having a lot of fun racing motorcycles. I still do it because I truly love racing motorcycles and I’m not ready to give it up. I was fortunate enough in my career to not have a lot of injuries. So I’m sitting here at 38 years old and looking at this like I’m still breaking track records on the East Coast, contending with really fast guys like Valentin Debise and Danny Eslick and Cory West in the Daytona 200. I just want to see where it goes. I don’t want to put a number on it.

“I feel like in the past we saw guys get up into their early 40s and people were like, ‘Oh, he’s too old for this sport now.’ My outlook is I’m not too old for this sport. It may be completely different than it was 10 years ago when I was winning AMA races on a Suzuki, but that doesn’t mean I still can’t go run up at the front, put on a good show and have fun and just see where it ends up.”

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