Sporting figures, especially in America, seem divided into one of two camps. The first are the painfully flamboyant: tattooed, pierced, outrageous. Sometimes they’re brilliant, and sometimes they implode. At best they’re wildly uneven.
Then there’s the second kind: the athlete with the solid work ethic, the one who doesn’t hog the limelight, who just gets in there and gets the job done, event after event.
Honda Red Bull Racing’s Andrew Short is most definitely a sportsman of that latter class. A brilliant rider, he’s modest, soft-spoken, a family man and anything but self-aggrandizing. He’s also super consistent and blazingly fast, as his 2009 Motocross and Supercross seasons show. His work ethic reminds you of another legendary Honda champion, Jeff Stanton, also a quiet rider who won his titles by dint of hard work and a never-quit attitude.
Short knows that one of the secrets of ending the year with a wheelbarrow full of championship points is to finish every race, and to ride uninjured. Short’s '09 Supercross season tells exactly that story: He scored points in every single event, only once finishing out of the top 10. In 11 out of the 17 rounds he was in the top five, and twice he stood on the podium. He ended the Supercross season in third overall. In the AMA Motocross outdoor nationals, Short was even more of a force, finishing second overall, scoring points in all but one race and standing on the podium nine times.
In 2010, Andrew earned the title Motocross of Nations Champion riding for Team USA. and also finished 3rd overall in the Lucas Oil Motocross 450 Class Championship.
Shorty signed on with Red Bull KTM in 2011, but never managed to achieve the same caliber of riding that had come to be expected from him. His 6th-place finish in 450SX points was respectable given the level of competition he was dealing with, but he finished 8th in outdoor points after missing the last three rounds due to injury in a season where he never quite seemed to have the bike dialed. And with that, the KTM experiment was over.
Short returned to Honda in 2012, joining a new team fronted by Larry Brooks and Jeremy McGrath that would come to be known as Chaparral Honda. He was sidelined by injury through part of the 2012 supercross season, but came back to take a victory at the Seattle round. With many of the top contenders out of action for the outdoor season, Short became a consistent top-five threat once again, finishing the year 4th in 450MX points.