By Brendan Lutes
Of all the riders in the premiere 450 class, Andrew Short has easily had the most tumultuous season so far, and it hasn't been due to injures or bad performances on the track. The beginning of the year began with Andrew aboard a Chaparral Honda with full factory Honda support. After only a few rounds, though, the team folded, leaving Short to find his own way to the races.
Not being one to give up, he bought a CRF450R and scraped together enough help to get to the remaining West Coast events. With the series moving east, however, Short was left to find a new ride, which he did with the BTO Sport/KTM team. For the remainder of the season and into the outdoors, Shorty will be aboard a KTM450 SX-F with factory support from KTM. We caught up with him this week while he was putting in some laps at Milestone's Supercross track to find out how things have been going. And with only a few days of testing aboard his new bike, Short is already looking forward to Atlanta this coming weekend.
You're now on your third bike this season. Can you talk about transitioning to the BTO Sports/KTM team?
Starting with BTO Sports/KTM this weekend is going to be fun for me. It's obviously the third bike change for me in a short series. It's a big task, but I've dealt really well with it so far, and I think this week will be no exception. I've had two good days on the bike at the KTM track, and with the rain, we came out here to Milestone. It's good for me to ride the bike on a different track and see how it reacts. It's also good for me to learn my body position on the bike, and it's crucial to see some different jumps and terrain. Overall, though, it's been going really well so far.
You've ridden a KTM before, but how has the bike changed since you were on it?
I rode the 450--this current bike--quite a bit during the development stage, so I knew the characteristics of the bike and what to expect. It's hard to compare 2011 to 2013, since I've put a lot of time on a different brand. If I were going back to back, it would be a little easier to compare. My KTM now isn't completely the same either--in terms of a few of the accessories that are on it. I like it, though, and I'm excited to work with a lot of the same group of people at KTM, but also some new people at BTO and who they've aligned themselves with. We'll see; it's an exciting time for me.
We have to ask, but can you comment on the split that took place when the Chaparral Honda team dissolved?
It was a bummer for everybody and I wish all the people involved the best of luck. For me, I'm just looking forward, trying to stay on the track, and keep racing and represent the people that have been standing behind me the entire time.
How hard has it been to change from the full-factory Chaparral Honda to a mostly stock Honda to the BTO Sports KTM you are now riding?
It's been challenging. It's essentially three different bikes, so for anyone that's tough. When you do this for a profession, you ride all the time and you get to know your bike like a glove. For me it has been kind of awkward. It's definitely not an advantage; if anything it's a disadvantage, but I look forward to the challenge and having some stability and getting to know the KTM.