The 2012 Monster Energy Supercross series made its second stop in Phoenix this past weekend to a venue that historically has produced surprising results and exciting racing due to it's slippery track surface inside the impressive Chase Field stadium. This edition of the event continued the tradition as Supercross class favorites found themselves on the ground and frantically chasing points to salvage their championship runs. Amongst all the chaos and struggle, Coach Seiji personal training client #29 Andrew Short backed up his 7th place Anaheim 1 finish with another strong showing, reinforcing his rehabilitation and efforts to return to the sharp end of the SX class from devastating elbow and wrist injuries of last season.
The track was in pristine conditions during much of timed qualifying sessions. After some initial setting changes by the Supercross.com/Honda crew, Andrew settled into setting some fast laps. Although the bike set up was spot on, some tricky rhythm sections provided some challenges that were hard to overcome in the two timed sessions and the veteran rider ended qualifying in 14th.
Andrew's qualifying efforts netted him a middle gate for his heat race. Careful gate preparation by his technician Mark Valcore aided in an incredible jump and holeshot. Andrew would lead the heat race for a few laps before coming under attack from Reed and Stewart. Both would eventually pass Andrew via aggressive passes despite valiant efforts to defend the lead. Andrew would fight to maintain contact with the two leaders - this would pay off huge when Reed pushed his front end in a right hander found himself under his bike. Andrew would maintain his inherited position to finish the heat in 2nd place.
Andrew gated one spot further out for the main event start. A good jump into the straight was negated by riders pushing out and Shorty found himself buried mid-pack through the first few rhythm sections of the chaotic opening lap. Shorty held tough and found himself in 7th place rounding the finish line for the first time. Shorty put quick passes on Blose and Metty over the next six laps to find himself battling with Canard at the midpoint of the race. The pair of Honda riders would exchange some exciting passes over the remainder of the race, the only break in the action being Villopoto coming through from a first lap crash. The "clear brows" skirmish would end with Short on top, earning him a well deserved and well ridden 6th place finish.
Coach Seiji would also like to congratulate #5 Ryan Dungey, Roger DeCoster and the entire Red Bull/KTM Factory Racing crew for their first ever Supercross class win! It was special to be able to witness history being made, especially having first hand knowledge of how much work it takes from the entire team. Congrats guys!
Onward to LA!