(bwa) 1.77m / 80kg


Campiong trips, golf, cricket


Fleetline Graphics, Creative Culture, Uniglide, Gyda, Rally Rampage, Active Africa, SRH Media, Peak Yamaha, Broadhurst, Debonairs Pizza, NTT Nissan Gaborone, Natural Selection, Fox Ranches, DeVre Trans, EMD Racing, BBI, Multimedia Graphix, ASC, Lucky Star, Time, Precision.

2021: first appearance

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Kalahari Rally, Tankwa Rally, Roof of Africa

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“It’s pretty emotional to just get to the start”

In the footsteps of Vincent Crosbie, Ross Branch and James Alexander comes another rider from Botswana: John Kelly will be competing on the Dakar for the first time in the Original by Motul class (for bikers with no assistance). Born in South Africa but raised in Gaborone, the Motswana took his decision to go for the biggest and toughest of all rallies after managing to perform well at the Kalahari Rally back in 2019. Since then it’s been a long journey just to get to the start in Saudi Arabia for this rider in love with the outdoors. The first goal was to collect money through fundraising events, the second was to get familiar with his rally bike and sand dunes that he got to discover in neighbouring Namibia. Just being at the start appears like a performance already. On a Husqvarna prepared by Lyndon Poskitt, the 30-year-old property asset manager now hopes to reach the finish to thank all his supporters and why not aim at a top position in his class.

“The Dakar was a dream but it seemed so unrealistic. I remember going on holiday in January as a kid and pushing my mum and dad to find a place with a TV so that I could watch the Dakar. It’s such an incredible event. It was just a dream then. My friends Vincent Crosbie (with whom I work), Ross Branch and James Alexander who all did the Dakar pushed me to go for it telling me I had the potential to compete. I finally took my decision after finishing the Kalahari Rally in 2019. Doing well there reinforced what I thought about myself. I know it’s not the same as the Dakar but it gives me confidence. The big issue was raising enough money. I didn’t think it would be possible. The Covid period was actually a blessing for me. I was able to take the time to organise, set up a website and organise fundraising events. It’s pretty emotional to just get to the start. Riding a bike seems easy after that. In Botswana we have a strong community. We’re all very close. The community sticks behind their people. I was able to count on so much contribution. My passion is to go and discover new places and I love the challenge of the Original by Motul class. It’s not for everyone. The main issue will be dealing with possible technical or mechanical problems. I don’t know much about four-stroke rally bikes. I spoke to James Alexander a lot about the class to know what to do and what not to do. All in all, I’m ready. My goal is first to finish, then go for a Top 5 in my class and reaching the podium would be a bonus. But it is my first Dakar and I can’t let the supporters down.”




  • KTM
  • Lyndon Poskitt Racing
  • Original by Motul
  • M_R2_NO

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