ANDREW SHORT OUT OF 2021 DAKAR RALLY DUE TO BIKE ISSUE
The 2021 Dakar Rally began in the port city of Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, on the 3rd of January and will conclude on the 15th of January in the same city, after covering more than 4660-miles. Andrew Short, former AMA Supercross and motocross racer and Ricky Braebec, former Dakar Rally Champion, both carry the flag for Team USA in the Rally scene. HRC Honda’s Ricky Braebec is coming off his first-ever Dakar Rally overall win in 2020 and he was the first rider to line-up for Stage 1 after he won the prologue. Ricky’s first stage wasn’t so hot though, he finished 24th on the day after struggling to navigate the terrain being that he was the first rider off the line. Braebec did turn his luck around for Stage 2 and pulled off a second place on the day which moved him up to second place in the overall standings—just 6-minutes and 23-seconds off the leader.
Andrew Short was off to a good start. After the first stage, he was doing well, sitting 10th overall in the standings. The Monster Energy Yamaha Rally team stated that Andrew opted for a cautious approach on stage one because of a new rule for 2021 that only allows elite riders to change their rear tire six times during the 13-day (1-prolouge, 12-stage) event. To save his tire for sandier conditions on Stage 2, Andrew Short rode conservatively throughout the rocky first stage of the race and still finished 12th—giving him 10th overall with the combined times.
Andrew took to social media to inform his fans back in the States of his progress: “P-12 and 10th OA after stage 1. Happy with how the day went considering where I started. The results are going to flip flop a lot this first week I think. Navigation was challenging today which I enjoyed. So stoked to be back racing! 11 more days…”
Unfortunately, Andrew won’t make the full, 12-stage race. Instead, he was forced to retire the race early when his bike wouldn’t start during Stage 2 after he had just refueled.
Andrew Short posted via instagram: “Day two of @dakarrally started off great but after re-fuel I had what I think was a fuel related issue. I tried everything I had on the bike to get the bike moving again but in the end couldn’t get it going again. So sad to be out of the race but I know this is racing and especially Dakar. This event is really special and you work all year for this event. I really enjoyed how difficult and challenging the navigation was this year so far. I want to thank the team for all the hard work as they live for this race with the same passion as me. Thank you everything for the support and I can’t wait for next year.”
UPDATE! THE CULPRIT WAS CONTAMINATED FUEL
Updated Press release: Monster Energy Yamaha Rally Team rider, Andrew Short, was forced to retire from the 2021 Dakar Rally during yesterday’s Stage 2 from Bisha to Wadi Ad-Dawasir, after coming to a halt shortly after the second refuelling stop 267km into the special stage. Despite his best efforts, the American was unable to restart the bike, leaving him with no option but to abandon the race. Subsequent inspection of the bike on its return to the bivouac identified the problem as contaminated fuel, with a significant amount of water found to be present in both the fuel tank and the fuel pump on Short’s bike. Water was also found in the fuel of Short’s Monster Energy Yamaha teammate Franco Caimi when his fuel tank was drained after the stage. Fortunately for the Argentinian, the fuel contamination wasn’t as severe as that of his teammate and he was able to complete the day’s stage.
As the contaminated fuel that caused the problem for Short was supplied by the organisers, and was therefore outside of the team’s control, the Monster Energy Yamaha Rally Team lodged an official request to the FIM to freeze the results of the stage at Checkpoint 2. This would have allowed Short to start the race today. This request was rejected and, as a result, Short will play no further part in the 2021 Dakar Rally.
Because of the fuel contamination, the fuel tanks on all four of the remaining Monster Energy Yamaha Rally Team bikes had to be drained and the fuel pumps replaced ahead of today’s 629km Stage 3 around Wadi Ad-Dawasir.