The name Geoff May quietly found its way on to the Daytona 200 entry list this week with the entry reading: Geoff May/GMR Racing. GMR Racing? It stands for Geoff May Racing and, as the name indicates, it’s clearly a privateer effort.”I’ve decided to take matters into my own hands and control my own destiny,” said May, the former M4 Suzuki and Michael Jordan Motorsports rider. “I’ve started my own team. I ended up going to the dealership and buying a bike just like anybody else would. I’ve got two bikes and we’re getting them ready right now. Luckily, I know a lot of good people and good sponsors who are helping me out and everything is coming together nicely. It’s last minute, but I figured it was either this or sit at home on the couch. “May will ride the GMR Suzuki GSX-R600 in the Daytona 200 after putting together his own team following a tumultuous off-season after losing his dream ride at Michael Jordan Motorsports. And going from semi-factory rider to out of work was an adjustment for the Georgian.”It was really had on me and my wife and just life in general,” May said. “I don’t know many people who could do very well without a paycheck for six months. And I haven’t had one in about six months now so it’s been really tough. I’ve had to change my lifestyle a lot and sell a lot of things and get rid of my trainer. I’ve had to reassess things in life and what I want to do. I thought about not racing at all. If you can’t make money at it, let’s face it you can’t do it. That’s how I make my living and I have to pay bills so I thought about it real hard and real long and made the decision. I still know how to race and I’ve done it before as a privateer. I’ve got a lot of good people, a lot of good contacts so we’re going to take a stab at this and see if we can’t go down there and win the 200 and make a good show out of it. Unfortunately, the investment I’ve put in out of my own pocket is already more than the actual purse for winning the thing. I’ll have to win a couple of them this year to recoup my investment.”The season starts with Daytona, but it won’t end there for May – though contesting the full season is not in the cards.”As of right now, I’ve notified some of my sponsors… like Fontana is not really feasable for me to go out there right after Daytona and then come back for Road Atlanta,” May said. “I will skip that one and just try to attack the ones that I know I have a shot of winning at and go from there. It’s going to be a race-by-race basis.”May had high hopes of attracting a ride with BMW or Aprilia – but those two teams never materialized.”I saw it coming, but not this bad,” May said. “I didn’t realize how much the manufacturers were going to pull back and just the situation with certain riders with backing and being able to buy rides. I was figuring that BMW was going to come in and Aprilia was going to come in and they would need a good rider for that. That didn’t pan out and those guys were looking for riders to buy rides and I’m strongly against that. I think it’s a detriment to the sport and I won’t partake in it – I’d rather do it myself than pay somebody to ride their motorcycle.”May finished eighth in last year’s American Superbike Championship for the National Guard-backed Jordan team, the highlight of which were a pair of third-place finishes in his home round at Road Atlanta.May said he will soon have a fan page on Facebook so race fans will have a place to check his progress as a privateer.
Geoff May: Privateer
Paul Carruthers | Editor
Paul Carruthers took over as the editor of Cycle News in 1993 after serving as associate editor since starting his career at the publication in 1985. Carruthers has covered every facet of the sport in his near-28-year tenure at America's Daily Motorcycle News Source.