AMA

Geoff May named 2003 Rookie of the Year

PICKERINGTON, Ohio (Oct. 8, 2003) -- Geoff May, 23, of Alpharetta, Ga., earned the 2003 AMA Superbike Rookie of the Year. The Team Embry/May Racing Suzuki rider scored five top-10 finishes this season and finished the season ranked a very credible...

PICKERINGTON, Ohio (Oct. 8, 2003) -- Geoff May, 23, of Alpharetta, Ga., earned the 2003 AMA Superbike Rookie of the Year. The Team Embry/May Racing Suzuki rider scored five top-10 finishes this season and finished the season ranked a very credible 11th in the final championship standings. May accomplished all despite suffering a serious bout of mononucleosis during the season and the disbanding of his race team.

May came into the AMA Chevy Trucks U.S. Superbike Championship with a strong background in road racing. He first became interested in racing after attending a Freddie Spencer Riding School in 1999. Later that year he entered the club racing ranks as a novice and quickly moved to the expert ranks. Before embarking on his AMA Superbike career May won championships in WERA, CCS and Formula USA.

May showed amazing consistency for a rookie rider in the championship. He tallied points in all but three rounds of the series. He was forced to miss the Brainerd, Minn., round because of his mid-season illness. His top results were a pair of eighth-place finishes scored at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course and Virginia International Raceway. May rode a Team Embry/May Racing Suzuki GSX-R1000, except at Barber where he was forced to ride his GSX-R750 backup bike.

"This means a lot for me to achieve this in my first year of racing AMA Pro," said May. "My goal was to finish in the top 10 in the points and I think I could have done that if I hadn't had a few of the issues I had to deal with."

The "issues" May spoke of were a serious case of mono and watching the team he rode for dissolve. These kinds of issues would have ended most riders' seasons, but May persevered and with the help of friends he finished out the season on his own finances. Greg Moon and Doug Hooten came on board to help May finish the 2003 campaign after Team Embry's finances ran out. "I can't say enough about those guys," May said of Moon and Hooten. "They basically worked for free and I still had my best results when they started tuning for me."

May felt sick for weeks early in the season. He knew had to get checked out after he raced at Road America with a 102-degree fever. "The doctors ran a bunch of tests on me and found out my spleen was severely enlarged. I was restricted to bed rest and had to miss Brainerd and didn't get to train at all until after Laguna Seca."

May hopes on finding sponsorship for next season to return to make another assault on the AMA Chevy Trucks U.S. Superbike Championship. "This is what I want to do with my life," he added. "I'm 100 percent committed to doing what it takes to make it in this sport."

May becomes the 22nd AMA Superbike Rookie of the Year. He follows in the footsteps of other riders to win the award such as Doug Chandler, Scott Russell, Thomas Stevens, Tommy Hayden and Jamie Hacking. The award is given to the rider who has earned the most points in his or her first full year of competition as a Superbike license holder.

May will be presented his award at the 29th annual AMA Pro Racing Awards Banquet to be held at the Rio Suites Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, on Saturday evening, Nov. 22.

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Series AMA
Drivers Tommy Hayden , Jamie Hacking , Doug Chandler , Geoff May , Freddie Spencer