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Andrew Short Interview

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Andrew Short turned pro way back at the end of 2000, and while he never won a Championship, he had a sixteen-year career that most could only dream about. Andrew wasn’t the Loretta Lynn’s superstar that graduated to the professional ranks straight onto a factory team, but his desire combined with the way he carried himself around the industry and fans quickly garnered him respect in the pits.

Andrew started as a privateer, but after four years of hard work and steady improvement, Andrew traded in his Motoworld Suzuki for a factory Honda deal in 2005. From that day until the day he retired, Shorty had a lot of ups and downs, but he always showed up at Anaheim 1 every year with a deal and a factory bike underneath him.

Shorty’s sixteen-year career numbers:

2000: 40th (125 MX)
2001: 24th (West SX), 32nd (125 MX)
2002: 12th (West SX), 15th (125 MX)
2003: 30th (SX), 3rd (West SX), 11th (125 MX)
2004: 17th (SX), 7th (West SX), 34th (125 MX)
2005: 22nd (SX), 3rd (West SX), 2nd (125 MX)
2006: 2nd (West SX), 4th (450 MX)
2007: 16th (450SX), 3rd (450MX)
2008: 3rd (450SX), 3rd (450MX)
2008: 3rd (450SX), 3rd (450MX)
2009: 3rd (450SX), 2nd (450MX)
2010: 12th (450SX), 3rd (450MX)
2011: 6th (450SX), 8th (450MX)
2012: 13th (450SX), 4th (450MX)
2013: 7th (450SX), 7th (450MX)
2014: 6th (450SX), 6th (450MX)
2015: 9th (450SX), 20th (450MX)
2016: 27th (450SX), 9th (450MX)

One thing everyone will agree on about the #29 is, he has always been two completely different people at the races. On the track, Andrew was a brutal competitor—just ask anyone that raced against the man—but off the track he was always the nicest person you would ever want to make contact with. This combined with his long standing friendships with everyone at Honda from his days with the team and his incredible career resume made it a no brainer for HRC to give Shorty the job as Honda Brand Ambassador when he expressed an interest in retirement. For Andrew, accepting the job also seemed like a no brainer. After a sixteen-year career, it’s never easy to walk away but this opportunity gives Andrew a chance to wean himself off of it at his own pace.

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The Monster Energy Cup was Andrew’s first experience as a worker bee and not a racer, so MotoXAddict’s Chase Yocom wanted to catch up with him and find out how it went.

Andrew, your role looks a little different this weekend. How’s everything been going since your retirement?

Big changes for me, and I haven’t been home very often, but it’s been a good change. Starting with Honda as their Brand Ambassador is many different roles at different times. To start this weekend in Las Vegas, the working with the riders aspect and working with the race team has been a lot of fun.

You now have some experience on the 2017 CRF450 factory bike. What are your thoughts on the new Honda after riding the factory KTM for a while now?

I think the new bike is a big improvement. I’ve compared them back to back with the 2016 Honda as well, and that’s a massive improvement. I think they’re really excited for the new bike to come out. The media will be riding it next weekend [3 days ago], and I think that will give a great first impression. The cockpit feels a lot better. The spring forks, the power has increased quite a bit, and all those things help the race team as well. It gives them a good starting platform. It’s been a lot of fun for me to ride it and be a part of it.

It’s well known that you’ve had a long relationship with Honda, but how did this deal as you being their Brand Ambassador come together?

It’s exactly what you said, [my long relationship with them]. I was at my point in my career. I have a good relationship with Kenny [Roczen], and I’ll hopefully get to work with Cole [Seely] some as well. I wanted an opportunity to not be so one dimensional from the racers’ standpoint. I’m enjoying just doing different things from day to day. It’s been a big challenge, but it’s also good for me to do something different.

Was this something you wanted? Did you approach Honda, or was this something they came to you with?

No, a little of both. From me racing and traveling every weekend, just to stop, I would go crazy, and mentally, it would be really hard for me to cope with. So this is the perfect role for me to transition and hopefully wean me off the racing. Tonight [Monster Energy Cup] wasn’t so bad, but I think Anaheim 1 will be difficult. It’s perfect. I’m blessed and really thankful to have this opportunity.

We know you and Kenny are good buddies, and we know Kenny kind of likes to joke around. Any funny stories from your first night of working together at the races? (laughs)

Nah, no, no, no, no, I think today he was pretty—I don’t want to say serious, but he was down to business. He has a good balance, but away from the track, he definitely likes to have fun and be himself. He’s unique, and I think that’s something that helps him.

Image by Simon Cudby

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