Andrew Short is one of the world’s most versatile and successful off-road motorcycle racers. A hugely experienced US supercross and motocross competitor, with close to 40 career podium results to his credit, he was also a winning member of the USA’s 2010 Motocross of Nations team.
Calling time on his 16-year supercross and motocross career, the Texas native switched to cross-country rally racing at the end of 2017. Competing in his first Dakar Rally in 2018, Andrew has since completed three Dakars, placed as runner-up in the 2019 Silk Way Rally and won the 2019 Rally du Maroc.
Ross Branch was one of the stand-out performers at the 2020 Dakar Rally. Quickly adjusting to the unpredictable Saudi Arabian terrain, the 33-year-old from Botswana won the event’s second stage, going on to challenge for further wins and take four more top-10 stage results, despite carrying an injury throughout the event.
Competing in his first Dakar Rally in 2019, Ross completed the South American event in 13th overall in the motorcycle class and as the event’s highest-finishing Rookie competitor. He also finished as runner-up in the Merzouga Rally and eighth in the Rally du Maroc in 2019.
Short and Branch were set to make their competitive debut for the Monster Energy Yamaha Rally Official Team at the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge. However, with the opening event of the 2020 FIM Cross-Country Rallies World Championship postponed due to the Covid-19 coronavirus outbreak, the new target is Rally Kazakhstan, which runs from 24-29 May.