by Jim Kimball
Aside from the obvious physical aspect, professional motocross is also very mental. It’s easy to let yourself get beat down, and difficult to get back to previous success. BTO Sports KTM rider Andrew Short may be a perfect example of this. After a stress-filled Supercross series in which he raced for three different teams, Andrew has not quite lived up to his (own) outdoor expectations–but with a standout second place first moto finish at Southwick and a fourth in moto one at Red Bud, Andrew looks to be getting his mojo back.
MXA: Andrew, let’s begin by talking about your second place in that first moto at Southwick.
Andrew: Yeah, it was definitely a big improvement for me after starting off the season pretty slow. I had a great opportunity there with James (Stewart) taking the holeshot, and me starting pretty close behind him. It was nice to be able to ride his pace, and see the lines that he was taking. Fortunately that allowed me to distance myself from the rest of the pack; so when he went down it threw me into the lead. Leading a race has not been something that I have been able to do yet this year. I tightened up a bit when I was in the lead, but it was also very good for me.
What has prevented you from finishing near the front leading up to Southwick?
My speed just doesn’t seem like it’s been there, and probably from a mental standpoint I also haven’t been to where I need to be. It just seems like I have had a difficult year on-and-off the track this year, but I do feel that things are starting to come together more. The BTO team has been great, and I am adjusting more to the KTM, which is a great bike. Hopefully now I will continue on this path to improvement and better finishes.
Short has been getting much better starts as the season has progressed. Photo by the Source Imagery.
Continuing on with the KTM, is it much different than the bike that you raced a couple years ago?
Well, remember that when I was riding for the Red Bull KTM team a few years ago that I was on the 350. I said this back then, and still feel the same way–the KTM 350SXF is an incredible bike, and if I were not racing the 450 outdoors series, I would be riding one. The 350 is a very enjoyable bike to ride, but I like the 450 because maybe I am more old school and I have a point and shoot riding style. On the 350 you use momentum more. I am used to the bigger power of the 450, but for guys like Kenny (Roczen) who are moving up from a 250, the 350 is ideal. Overall, the bike feels similar, but since there have been a few more years to develop the bike it has been improved. It’s really cool to see how KTM has progressed over just the last few years.
I wanted to ask you how much the fact that you had to switch bikes a few times earlier this year has negatively affected your racing.
Everyone is human, so when you have stress like I was having it is bound to affect you. Ultimately though when you are (still) out there racing a dirt bike, it cannot be all bad. But when you are racing the world’s elite, you have to be on top of your game, and everything has to be spot on. The big thing was that I was able to continue racing. It’s something that I love. This won’t last forever, so I am trying to enjoy it as long as I can.
Let’s return to your second in Southwick’s first moto and your fourth in moto one at Red Bud. How will that help you?
I still have the same desire and determination to be up front; that has not changed, but it has given me more confidence. The mental aspect of confidence is a huge part of any racer, so I really want to keep the momentum going and keep growing the confidence. I want to get back up to where I feel that I belong.