April 4, 2019 – Andrew Short has placed fifth overall at round one of the 2019 FIM Cross-Country Rallies World Championship, the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge. Showing impressive speed in the dunes of the Liwa Desert the American overcame several challenges to secure a well-deserved top-five result.
With the fifth and final day in Abu Dhabi pitting competitors against a 351.96-kilometre stage, including a 214.47-kilometre timed special, the event challenged riders all the way to the finish.
As the third rider to enter the stage, just after 7:00am this morning, Short set about catching the two riders ahead of him. Having gained valuable experience during the course of the event, the former supercross rider enjoyed a strong pace as he navigated superbly through the mountainous dunes on the way to the refuelling point. Unfortunately, Short lost some time to his rivals with a small technical issue, which he stopped and repaired.
Arriving at the finish in 10th place to claim fifth overall in the event’s final standings, Andrew was extremely positive about his performance and will aim to carry his newly-found experience into the second round of the championship.
The next event contested by the Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing team will be the second round of the 2019 FIM Cross-Country Rallies World Championship – the Silk Way Rally commencing July 6 in Russia.
Andrew Short: “This last day has been good for me, I felt really good all day and had a good pace. Just near the end I had a small issue but I was able to quickly get going again and complete the stage. Overall, I have really enjoyed the race here in Abu Dhabi, it’s been a great experience and fun to be here with the crew. I feel my riding has improved here, each rally I do it feels like I move up another level and it’s very important to keep that momentum going. Real race experience is so valuable and it’s good to leave here healthy and even faster. Admittedly, it’s not quite the result I was hoping for but we had to play the cards we were dealt and I think we handled it perfectly. I’m now really looking forward to the next race.”
Pela Renet – Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing Rally Team Manager: “Andrew really did have the potential and the speed to make a really good result here in Abu Dhabi. I truly believe it was possible for him to fight for a place on the podium, which is very encouraging. We all know that things don’t always go the way you want them to in racing, but as a team we take away a lot of positives from this race. Believing in your abilities to navigate in a good way and generally being confident in what you can do as a rider is so, so important in rally, and we see that Andrew’s confidence is growing. Of course, we would have liked to see Pablo Quintanilla racing here with us. He is working hard to return to racing, and we hope we will see him competing in the Silk Way Rally in July.”
2019 Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge – Provisional Stage 5 results
1. Sam Sunderland (KTM) 2:39:59
2. Luciano Benavides (KTM) 2:43:25
3. Joan Barreda (Honda) 2:46:42
4. Jose Ignacio Cornejo (Honda) 2:49:40
5. Kevin Benavides (Honda) 2:53:34
6. Mohammed Al Balooshi (KTM) 3:00:13
10. Andrew Short (Husqvarna) 3:05:51
2019 Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge – Provisional Overall Results
1. Sam Sunderland (KTM) 17:46:42
2. Luciano Benavides (KTM) 17:55:02
3. Jose Ignacio Cornejo (Honda) 17:56:41
4. Kevin Benavides (Honda) 18:21:33
5. Andrew Short (Husqvarna) 18:48:22
6. Ryan Blair (Husqvarna) 19:23:33
Courtesy Husqvarna Motorcycles