Rockstar Energy Husqvarna rider Andrew Short wins 2019 Silk Way Rally stage nine to go second overall – Sam Sunderland leads overall heading into the final stage.
Andrew Short posted the fasted time in the ninth stage of the 2019 Silk Way Rally earning himself his first stage win in the rally and climbing up to second overall in the overall standings. After making no navigation mistakes and maintaining a high pace through the 290 kilometres of timed special, Short completed the penultimate stage in less than four hours, nearly one minute ahead of Hero Motorsport’s Paulo Goncalves.
“Stage nine was really good for me today.” Said Shorty at the stage finish. “I knew it would cover really similar terrain to yesterday, so I had a little better idea of what to expect. With my start position I had a lot of tracks laid down ahead of me but at times those tracks would split up but I navigated well and always chose the right direction.
“My pace to the refuel was really good and then after that I was able to keep to a good speed and again, where other people had made mistakes, I was able to make the right choices and push on to the finish. I’m happy with how the day has gone and really happy with my performance.”
Tough going in the Gobi Desert
Stage nine started from the same finishing point of the previous day and featured similar rough, sandy tracks and camel grass covered dunes. All riders report the conditions difficult in the Chinese Gobi Desert as navigation and the demanding course both take a lot of ‘reading’ to be fast and safe.
With one day of racing left Sam Sunderland is heading for the victory with nearly 23 minutes lead over Short in the overall. Short won’t be able to relax if he wants to maintain the runner up position because Adrian Van Beveren, always happy in the sand, sits third and less than a minute behind him.
Sunderland was fourth on stage nine carrying a healthy lead and riding safe for victory at this second round of the 2019 Cross-Country Rallies World Championship.
Laia Sanz meanwhile continued her good performance through stage 9 and despite not finding her favourite terrain she finished 11th and has jumped to seventh in the overall standings.
Provisional top 10 results stage nine – 2019 Silk Way Rally:
- Andrew Short (USA), Husqvarna, 3:52:28
- Paulo Goncalves (PRT), Hero, 3:53:11 +43 seconds
- Adrien Van Beveren (FRA), Yamaha, 3:54:13 +1:45
- Sam Sunderland (GBR), KTM, 3:56:47 +4:19
- Jose Cornejo (CHL), Honda, 3:57:07 +4:39
- Kevin Benavides (ARG), Honda, 3:57:37 +5:09
- Joan Barreda (ESP), Honda, 3:59:45 +7:17
- Luciano Benavides (ARG), KTM, 4:04:46 +12:18
- Oriol Mena (ESP), Hero, 4:13:19 +20:51
- Adam Tomiczek (POL), Husqvarna, 4:21:44 +29:16
Provisional top 10 standings (after stage nine) – 2019 Silk Way Rally:
- Sam Sunderland (GBR), KTM, 23:27:27
- Andrew Short (USA), Husqvarna, 23:50:18 +22:51
- Andrien Van Beveren (FRA), Yamaha, 23:51:09 +23:42
- Kevin Benavides (ARG), Honda, 23:53:35 +26:08
- Luciano Benavides (ARG), KTM, 24:01:45 +34:18
- Oriol Mena (ESP), Hero, 24:16:14 +48:47
- Laia Sanz (ESP), KTM, 25:09:54 +1:42:27
- Adam Tomiczek (POL), Husqvarna, 25:24:11 +1:56:44
- Maciej Giemza (POL), Husqvarna, 26:19:07 +2:51:40
- Joan Barreda (ESP), Honda, 26:24:09 +2:56:42