Andrew Short will soon arrive in Russia to race the 2019 Silk Way Rally – a 10-day event that also includes stages in Mongolia before finishing in China on July 16. Andrew’s Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing teammate Pablo Quintanilla will not take part in the event due to his ongoing recovering from the injury sustained at the Dakar Rally in January.
With just over three months since round one of the world championship – the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge – finished in April, Rockstar Energy Husqvarna’s Andrew Short has continued training onboard his FR 450 Rally. Keeping busy by also racing some local offroad events the 36-year-old American is physically 100 percent fit and looking forward to the challenge of a new event. With his fifth-place result at the first round, Andrew has shown he can mix it with the more experienced rally riders and is now looking forward to another strong finish, at round two.
Although not competing in the Silk Way Rally, Pablo Quintanilla is close to making a return to competition following the injury he sustained at the Dakar Rally in January. After an extensive rehabilitation process, the 2017 FIM Cross-Country Rallies World Champion has spent recent weeks riding his FR 450 Rally at home in Chile, building up his on-bike fitness.
The Silk Way Rally, now in its ninth edition, is welcoming motorcycle competitors for the first time in 2019. Starting in Irkutsk, Russia, competitors will race through Mongolia to ultimately finish in Dunhuang, China after covering over 5,000 kilometres, 2593.15 of which are timed special stages. With a wide variety of terrain including the fast gravel roads of Russia, picturesque but tricky to navigate hills and tracks in Mongolia and the large sand dunes of the Gobi Desert in China, the event looks set to be one of the toughest on the 2019 calendar.
Andrew Short: “I’m really excited for Silk Way, it’s the first year for the bikes so a lot of people really don’t know what to expect. The route looks interesting and from what I have seen from previous years the terrain is quite varied along the way. I’ve been doing some good training here in the States recently, it feels good to be on the bike and I believe we have made some improvements to the suspension and handling since the last round. Silk Way is going to be a really long race so will definitely be a challenge both physically and mentally, but I believe that’s where some of my strengths lie and I’m keen to get started. My plan is to take things steady at first, get a feel for things and not risk too much. If everything is going well, push a little harder towards the end and hopefully come away with a good result.”
Pela Renet – Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing Rally Team Manager: “It’s great to have a new rally in the world championship this year and the Silk Way looks to be one of the most exciting. It’s almost certainly going to be a challenge for the whole team – at 10 days long it’s around the same length as this year’s Dakar, and with it being the first time for motorcycles we don’t know what to expect. Andrew has been riding really well and continues to learn, we believe Silk Way could suit him and we are hoping for a good result. Although Pablo is back on his bike, his recovery has taken longer than expected but we hope to see him back racing in Chile for the Atacama Rally.”
The Silk Way Rally – round two of the 2019 FIM Cross-Country Rallies World Championship – starts in Russia on July 6.