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Organisers investigate Short’s exit after refuelling stop

Both Yamaha and Dakar Rally organisers are investigating the retirement of Andrew Short on Day 2 of the 2021 event, to ascertain whether the fuel supply became contaminated by water on Monday’s stage.

Watch: Dakar 2021: Stage 2 Highlights - Bikes and Quads

Short is the first of the leading runners in the motorbike class to exit the event and was classified inside the top 10 when the incident occurred on the stage from Bisha to Wadi Ad-Dawasir on the banks of the Empty Quarter. 

At kilometre 273 of the second stage, his Yamaha WR450F Rally stopped suddenly in an area of fast and sandy tracks within large valleys formed by mountains of stone. After trying to restart his bike, the American was forced on board the organisation's helicopter, putting him out of the event in which he finished sixth in 2019.

Short posted on instagram: “Day two started off great but after re-fuel I had what I think was a fuel related issue. I tried everything I had to get the bike moving but in the end couldn’t get it going again. So sad to be out of the race but I know this is racing and especially Dakar.”

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When the bike was returned to the Wadi Ad-Dawasir bivouac – alerted by a report of a similar problem from KTM’s Toby Price – his team decided to check the fuel tanks and is understood to have found some water inside.

The refuelling of the motorcycles, quads and SSV/T3 on the Dakar is carried out using tankers from a local supplier, which are moved to each bivouac and the refuelling points that event organiser ASO designates each day. Monday’s stage had one at 94km and another at 267km – just seven kilometres before Short retired.

Motorsport.com understands that Yamaha then poured fresh gasoline into Short's tank and the bike started without problems, suggesting that the problem came from the fuel he picked up on the stage. Event officials are currently investigating what happened, as several other riders were also reported to have suffered problems.

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