Andrew Short has successfully completed stage three of the 2019 Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge, ultimately posting the 11th fastest time despite having to stop to correct a small technical issue close to the stage finish.
Although the weather improved, with less wind battering the riders, day three of the rally still posed a huge challenge to all competitors. At a total of over 430 kilometres, the stage included a 297.97-kilometre timed special that headed south towards Saudi Arabia before circling around through the white sands east of the Liwa oasis.
FR 450 Rally-mounted Short enjoyed an excellent pace for the majority of the special, navigating on his own through the undulating dunes before catching the riders ahead. Maintaining the speed of his fellow competitors, Andrew was then unfortunately forced to stop and make adjustments to his Husqvarna to rectify a small technical issue. Despite losing time, the American rider completed the stage in 11th place and still lies fifth overall in the provisional standings.
Totalling 520.66 kilometres, Wednesday’s stage four includes a 286.10-kilometre timed special in the Liwa Desert.
Andrew Short: “Overall, it was a really good day for me, it’s just a shame I had a small issue near the end of the stage. I set off with a good pace and when Sam passed me midway through the special, I was able to stick with him. The terrain after the fuel stop looked amazing – it was like a different planet out there with a mixture of white and red sand. Things were going really well, but unfortunately, with about 17 kilometres to go to the finish, I had a little issue with the bike. Thankfully, I was able to sort the problem but I lost some time doing so. It’s knocked my race result a little, but it’s better to fix it and get going again rather than the alternative.”
2019 Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge – Stage 3 Provisional Classification
1. Sam Sunderland (KTM) 4:00:27
2. Kevin Benavides (Honda) 4:03:18
3. Aaron Mare (KTM) 4:04:47
4. Luciano Benavides (KTM) 4:06:33
5. Mohammed Meshari Jaffar (KTM) 4:08:31
6. Mark Ackerman (Husqvarna) 4:09:11
11. Andrew Short (Husqvarna) 4:40:51
2019 Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge – Overall Provisional Classification After Stage 3
1. Sam Sunderland (KTM) 11:00:24
2. Luciano Benavides (KTM) 11:13:12
3. Jose Ignacio Cornejo (Honda) 11:13:15
4. Kevin Benavides (Honda) 11:23:35
5. Andrew Short (Husqvarna) 11:45:00
6. Mark Ackerman (Husqvarna) 11:58:00