Rockstar Energy Husqvarna’s Andrew Short has won the Rally du Maroc, securing his place as runner-up in the 2019 FIM Cross-Country Rallies World Championship.
Earning a second consecutive podium result, Pablo Quintanilla finished second at the tough Moroccan race. The result marks Rockstar Energy Husqvarna’s first-ever one-two in a world championship rally event.
With a new style roadbook that riders often only received minutes before the start of each stage, the Rally du Maroc once again lived up to its reputation as one of the toughest events on the cross-country rallies calendar.
Adapting superbly to the new regulations, Short made the most of his ever-improving skill and experience to put in a consistent ride that took him to the event win.
Following a strong showing in the race Prologue, Short made the best use of his strengths on the mixed terrain of the Moroccan desert stages, pushing hard when comfortable while maintaining a solid pace on the more technical sections.
With navigation proving key to a strong result on all of the stages, Andrew rode intelligently to minimise any errors and successfully complete each stage in good time.
Leading the overall standings going into the final day of racing, Short knew he would still have to attack the 168-kilometre timed special to defend his position from the riders behind.
A crash early on in the stage couldn’t slow the American’s progress and despite the added pressure of being one of the first riders on track, he put in another excellent ride to complete the stage in fifth.
Coming into the rally with the goal of securing second place in the overall 2019 championship standings, Short not only accomplished that but claimed his first world championship victory and confirmed his place among the sport’s very best riders.
Andrew Short: “I can’t believe it – it doesn’t seem real right now. My main goal coming to Morocco was to finish second in the championship, but to take the win feels unreal. I was second at the Silk Way, which was huge for me but there were a few of the top riders missing.
“Now all the guys are here at this event getting ready for Dakar and to take the win with such stiff competition is amazing. I couldn’t have done it without the support of the team and the opportunity they have given me over the last couple of years.”