'To win races, you need a more powerful bike - I'm 40 horsepower down on the big bikes' Geoff May wants to rub shoulders with the legendary Michael Jordan - the former NBA superstar who is now involved in Superbike racing in the United States. American May is a 'privateer', an intrepid band of independent riders who take on the established factory teams in the dog-eat-dog world of motorcycle racing. He has had enough of scrimping and saving to stay competitive and make ends meet. Now he wants to join the big boys and clamber on board Jordan's Team Jump Man. To achieve this, a good result in today's 38th Motorcycle Grand Prix will help a great deal. 'A top-five finish here will help my chances of joining Michael Jordan's team next season. Jordan is a huge motorbike racing enthusiast and has just started running his own team. I have been in touch with his team and I hope I can do well in this high-profile race as it will boost my credibility with Jordan,' said May, who will ride a 1,000cc Yamaha. A couple of years ago, Jordan entered a team in the American Motorcyclist Association (AMA) Championship. After less than satisfactory results, the former king of hoops is determined to make a lasting impression in 2005 and is on the lookout for young talent. Enter May. The 24-year-old from Atlanta, Georgia, has set the AMA circuit in the United States ablaze with his daredevil riding. In a sport where the machine matters as much as the man - and inevitably the factory-sponsored teams rule the roost - May has been able to make a mark by finishing in the top 10 in 15 of the 18 rounds in the AMA this season. 'I had 15 top 10 finishes including 11 in a row, which was a record. I finished the season as the top privateer. But to win races, you need a more powerful bike - I'm 40 horsepower down on the big bikes - and all the resources which the big teams have. Unfortunately, I can't afford to have that and this is why I need to join a team like Jordan's,' says May. Since becoming a pro rider in 2003, May has traversed the length and breadth of the United States in a van accompanied by his wife Jodie and mechanic Tim Anderson. The trio make up the Hot Bodies Racing team. They are tinker, mechanic, rider all rolled into one. 'Sometimes we drive 3,000 miles from one race to the next. When we are tired, we pull up to the side of the road and sleep in the van. We don't have the money to stay in a hotel or live it up. I have had to spend my own money, or what I have won to fund my dream,' laughs May. Thankfully Jodie is all for it. Although she knew nothing of motorbike racing before she met May, she has backed him all the way and now even helps change the tyres. 'The hardest thing is not having time alone with my husband. But still it is a lot of fun travelling around the US, and also coming here to Macau,' said Jodie. The thrill of racing and the thrill of travelling is compensation enough for Jodie at the moment, although she says that she still yearns for some permanency at times and not just a home on wheels. That will depend on husband Geoff landing the big bucks. 'If I land a big team like Jordan's, we will have security. Big teams pay riders an annual salary of around US$750,000. At the moment all I can depend on is winning prize money which is not huge sums anyway,' May said. He won US$110,000 this season, but most of it was pumped back into the team's upkeep. Well-known motorcycle broadcaster and commentator Chris Carter acknowledges that May is one of the hottest properties around on the American scene. 'He is talented and he has proved it this year by being the top privateer. All he needs now is a better bike and the financial backing to take the next step,' says Carter. But May, one of three Americans taking part in the 41-strong field for the showpiece bike race, says he will have his work cut out trying to break the British domination and trying to eclipse the factory machines of Michael Rutter and company tomorrow. 'My bike is just a showroom bike with an exhaust on it. But a good result is still possible. Last year I finished eighth. 'I was sixth going into the final lap, but I made a mistake on the Lisboa corner and it cost me two spots. I hope I can do better this time because a lot depends on it,' added May. Like catching the eye of 'His Airness'.