With two new riders – American Andrew Short and Botswana’s Ross Branch – joining the Monster Energy Yamaha Rally Team alongside Adrien van Beveren, Franco Caimi and Jamie McCanney, all riders have been working hard in recent months in readiness to finally go racing.
In what will be the one and only international rally competition used as preperation for the upcoming Dakar, the Andalucia Rally brings the team to southern Spain with stages taking place from October 6 to 10. For all riders it will be their first major event since January with the swift, five-day format the perfect environment in which to both return to competition and reaccustom themselves with their WR450F Rally machinery.
To determine the event’s starting order, a short Super Special Stage takes place on the opening day before riders depart from, and return to, the bivouac town of Villamartin for each of the four main legs of the rally. When the event comes to a close, riders will have covered no less than 1,300 kilometres with 1,030 of those being timed specials. Stage three is expected to be the most challenging with 300 km of dry, rugged and rocky tracks to the north-west of Malaga.
Equalling a career best finish of eighth at the 2020 Dakar Rally, Franco Caimi was set for a positive year of rally racing before the global pandemic stopped all events in their tracks. Eager to race again after an extended break from competition, the Argentine is optimistic of a strong result at the Andalucia Rally. Spending the year at home in South America, Franco has enjoyed a solid preparation over the summer.
Adrien van Beveren has fully recovered from his injuries sustained during the 2020 Dakar Rally and is excited to be racing again in Spain. With many years of racing the WR450F Rally under his belt, AVB can fully-focus on his riding and will be aiming for a positive result come October 10 as he builds towards another Dakar Rally.
Andrew Short is new to the Monster Energy Yamaha Rally Team yet to fans of offroad racing needs little introduction. The former AMA supercross and motocross star made the switch to rally just three years ago and found success immediately with a third-place finish at the 2017 Sonora Rally. A born racer, Andrew has enjoyed multiple successes in his short rally career with a sixth-place finish at the 2019 Dakar Rally being the highlight to date.
Also joining the team is Botswana native Ross Branch. After making his Dakar debut in 2019, where he claimed an impressive 13th overall and Best Rookie honours, Ross turned heads by winning stage two at the 2020 edition. Blighted by various challenges following his impressive stage victory, a 21st place finish was still a strong result. Now part of the Monster Energy Yamaha Rally Team, Branch has everything necessary to further his rally career.
The youngest member of the Monster Energy Yamaha Rally Team is 26-year-old Jamie McCanney. Having only raced a handful of rally events since making the switch from world enduro, the Manxman enjoyed success and gained valubale experience following every completed stage of the 2020 Dakar Rally. Once travel restrictions lifted during 2020, the Manxman headed to Portugal to catch up on some much-needed seat time. The former world enduro star looks forward to competing in Andalucia and to securing a positive result.