How’s It Going in Dakar, Andrew? Short Checks In From La Paz

Jean Turner | January 12, 2018

AMA Supercross star Andrew Short is back to being a rookie in this year as he takes on the toughest off-road race in the world, the Dakar Rally. Shorty has been dreaming of this opportunity that he finally received from Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing, and so far, it’s been a steady effort. Andrew Short has been remarkably consistent, clocking in between 22nd and 28th each day, and currently sits 22nd overall, but Short admits he is not happy with his pace at this point. Watch the video or read on to hear what Andrew Short has to say about his Dakar Rally experience thus far.

“I’m getting really frustrated with my speed. Like sometimes I pass people and get lost and all that’s getting a bit frustrating for me. Yesterday (Stage 6) was my toughest day, I’d say, because it didn’t suit me. It was really fast and difficult.”

For a guy who has been running near the pointy end of the field throughout his entire pro career, being outside the top-20 isn’t a comfortable place to be. But Short admits he has a lot to learn about rally racing, and he’s busy soaking it up, along with the scenery and the entire South American experience.

“Overall, I’m learning a lot and hopefully in the future it will pay off. But for me, results-wise, it’s really difficult to look at it. I’m just kinda struggling in that sense. That part’s tough, but overall the event itself is amazing. To experience it and to see it is really special and something I’ll never forget. I really enjoyed the dunes in Peru. Especially the last day; it was really cool and fun riding. And seeing the people in La Paz was also really cool.

“Overall it’s an amazing experience. I just wish I could catch on a little bit faster and be a little more competitive.”

The racers are now enjoying a rest day in La Paz, Bolivia, but eight more days still remain in the Dakar Rally, including two marathon stages coming up. Short has experienced marathon rally stages in the past, but like all other aspects of the Dakar, it’s a different experience here.

Andrew Short Dakar Rally 2018
Andrew Short during Stage 5 of the Dakar Rally. Photography by Motorcycles

“I did a small [marathon stage] in Morocco but I think it’s going to be much different here,” said Short, referring to the OiLibya Rally of Morocco, the final round of the FIM Cross-Country Rallies World Championship, where he competed in 2017. “Morocco was almost like a holiday. They had all these tents set up and a band and nice food. Right now, they’re giving me a list of what to pack and it seems like a bit more serious and less of a holiday.

“For me, all these things are new and even some of the liaisons (transfer sections) I think they’re really long for some of the guys, but for me it’s just cool to check everything out and experience for the first time. After that I think it’ll be much tougher if you’ve done it and experienced it. But for me, each day for Dakar is still really exciting, whether it’s a marathon stage, a liaison or riding amazing landscapes, it’s all really cool for me.”

Jean Turner | Contributor A former staffer at Cycle News, Turner continues to contribute to the website and magazine as a columnist and someone we can count on to whip up a few thousand words on an off-road race when needed.