ROSS BRANCH(bwa) 1.74m / 79kg
Mountain bikes, golf, adventures
Mack Air, Yamaha, Monster Energy
“I have everything I need to go and win”
The 2020 Dakar will remain in the mind of Ross Branch as a turning point in his off-road career. Not only did he manage to conquer his first ever special victory on the way to a second consecutive Dakar finish (21st overall), he also achieved the bigger goal he had set: to seduce a top factory team through his results and find a place amongst the pros. For his third appearance, the rider from Botswana will indeed be part of the Yamaha Rally team alongside the likes of Adrian Van Beveren and Andy Short. Nicknamed the “Kalahari Ferrari” by a local follower in reference to a very fast donkey cart, Ross Branch is a reference both in motocross and cross-country. He’s claimed all the possible continental titles in both disciplines. In 2019, for his first outing on the Dakar, he finished best rookie of the event reaching the final podium in an outstanding 13th position. This commercial airline pilot who used to fly all week and race on weekends has now had to put a halt on his initial career to just focus on racing. The goal now is to be at the height of what his Yamaha factory team expects from him.
“I think that every guy dreams of being on a factory team to race in their sports. For me to be in the Yamaha factory team is really incredible. It’s a dream come true on its own. But with that comes a lot of pressure. I want to win. I want to do better. It changes everything. Now I have everything I need to go and win. That’s what they expect of us. The difference comes from the way you’re looked after, everything is at your disposal. It’s like a tool box: everything you need, there’s someone for you.
The first contact with the team came a year ago during the Morocco Rally when they asked me what I was doing in 2020 and they offered me a test ride. From the moment when you think you can’t get back to the racing because of financial reasons and something like this comes up. There were tears of joy, a lot of tears of joy. You realise it’s something you’ve worked your whole career for and it finally comes true.
This year’s been strange. I got a first call in March to fly over in Portugal to test for the team and then I was on the next plane back home because of the pandemic. I was like a little kid at Christmas waiting for this day. We later got together in October as a team in Font Romeu. We had such a good team building experience.
The things that really change is that the guys are so fast in my team. If you want to keep up with them, you’ve got to make sure that you’re at the top as well. There’s a lot of pressure but it’s good pressure. All I can do is learn from the guys that have so much more experience than me.”
MONSTER ENERGY YAMAHA RALLY TEAM
- Mark : YAMAHA
- Model : WR450F RALLY
- Performance tuner : Monster Energy Yamaha Rally Team
- Assistance : Monster Energy Yamaha Rally Team
- Class : G1.1 A.S.O. Elites
All news of R. Branch
Broken engine for Branch
Following Franco Caimi yesterday, now Ross Branch has fallen foul of engine problems. The man from Botswana is unable to repair it, meaning it is another blow for Yamaha!
Branch back on the move
Ross Branch is back in the race. The biker from Botswana spent some time patching up his Yamaha after a crash.
Ross Branch crashes and damages his bike
The second biker to start the special, Ross Branch, crashed around km 31. While the Yamaha rider emerged unscathed, the same cannot be said for his motorbike, and he is now trying to fix it. A serious blow for the brand with the tuning forks' top rider in the general standings!
The bikes have already reached the finish!
The first bikes have just crossed the finishing line on the day’s special. For the moment, Ross Branch has posted the best time ahead of Matthias Walkner, but we will have to await the arrival of Joan Barreda or Daniel Sanders to discover the outcome of today’s battle.
Ross Branch: "I'm not aiming to ride that fast"
The biker from Botswana's breakthrough performance has propelled him to fourth place overall after finishing second in the stage to Riyadh.
"I had fun. I was a bit frustrated after I missed a waypoint from the get-go this morning. Then, I wanted to see how fast I could go and find out what my bike's top speed was. Yamaha has done a great job with the bike and it's really...
Branch first across the line
Ross Branch was the first biker to wrap up today's special, but since he trailed Joan Barreda by over two minutes at km 268, victory still seems to have the Honda biker's name written all over it.
Branch at the start
Ross Branch is about to get to grips with the second stage on the Dakar. Recruited by the Monster Energy Yamaha team in spring 2020, the rider from Bostwana lost almost ten minutes to Toby Price on Sunday. He now lies in 10th place in the general standings, a little more than 30 seconds behind his team-mate Andrew Short and 9 minutes behind the Australian leader....
Ross Branch: "I was trying to just do the best I possibly could"
The Botswanan winner of a stage in the 2020 edition started fourth today and spent the day with the leading group but still managed to lose about 10 minutes to Toby Price.
"It was really difficult today. The navigation was tough, I think one of the toughest days in navigation I've ever had in rallies. It was really good fun, I really enjoyed it. I managed to catch up to...
Get exclusive information