Joining the Monster Energy Yamaha Rally Official Team as he continues his rapid trajectory towards rally stardom is Ross Branch. Armed with the potent WR450F Rally, the 34-year-old joined the team late in 2020 and looks to impress at the 2021 Dakar Rally.
Witnessing the final stage of the 1992 Dakar Rally in Cape Town at just five years old is where Ross’ dream of racing the event began. At such a young age, it clearly wasn’t possible to compete, so the Botswana native concentrated on his blossoming motocross career where he claimed various titles in South Africa.
Evolving into a rally racer over recent years, Ross has claimed three South African Cross Country Championship victories alongside seven Botswana 1000 Desert Race wins before progressing to international rally events.
In making his Dakar Rally debut in 2019, Branch’s dream of racing in the event came to fruition, 27 years after witnessing it for the very first time. Claiming an impressive 13th place finish and finishing with best rookie honours, it marked his arrival as a future contender. Later that year he went on to finish as runner-up at the Merzouga Rally to earn his place on the international rally stage.
At the 2020 edition of the Dakar, the Botswana native cemented his progress by winning the event’s second stage following an impressive display of riding and navigational skills, before various challenges slowed his progress and resulted in a 21st place finish.
Branch’s first race for the Monster Energy Yamaha Rally Official Team came in October 2020 at the Andalucia Rally in Spain. Beginning on a positive note, Ross claimed an impressive stage win on day two. Frustratingly, a technical issue on day three ended the Botswana native’s hopes of a podium but he heads to Dakar confident in his speed, ability, and Yamaha machinery.
Date of Birth: 06-05-1986
Place of Birth: Botswana
Marital Status: Single
Hobbies: Mountain biking, golf, adventures
2020: 21st Dakar Rally, (Winner of Stage 2)
2019: 13th Dakar Rally (Best Rookie) / 2nd Merzouga Rally / 9th Morocco Rally
2018: 1st, South African OR1 Cross Country Championship / 1st, Botswana 1000 Desert Race
2017: 1st, South African OR1 Cross Country Championship / 1st, Botswana 1000 Desert Race / 1st, Khawa Dune Challenge
2016: 1st, South African OR1 Cross Country Championship / 1st, Botswana 1000 Desert Race / 1st, African Motorcycle Union Continental Motocross Championship / Finisher, Red Bull Braveman Extreme Enduro
2015: 1st, Botswana 1000 Desert Race / 1st, Khawa Dune Challenge
2014: 1st, Botswana 1000 Desert Race / 1st, Khawa Dune Challenge
2013: 1st, Khawa Dune Challenge
2012: 1st, Botswana 1000 Desert Race
2011: Gold finisher, Roof of Africa / 1st, Botswana 1000 Desert Race / 1st, African Motorcycle Union Continental Motocross Championship