Ross Branch – About

 

Name: Ross Branch

Age: 37

City and Country of Residence: Gaborone, Botswana 🇧🇼🇧🇼🇧🇼

Dakar 2024 Class: Rally GP Elite

Race number: 16

Married: Yes

Spouse’s name: Aimee Branch

First Dakar?: No

Previous Dakar’s? Provide year(s): 2023, 2022, 2021, 2020 & 2019

In this space, please provide a short history of your racing career.: Motocross was the start of Ross Branch’s successful motorsports career with Ross racing his first event at the young age of 5. This was where he began to develop the style and talent one can see in his racing today and also where his dream began… to travel the world, representing his country and sponsors, through his passion and commitment to motorsports.

From racing the premier MX1 class in Motocross, which he still competes in today, Ross ventured off into Cross Country racing and is enjoying long distance endurance events, especially the desert type races in Botswana as well as South Africa. It comes as no surprise that he has won seven Botswana 1000 Desert Races, mastering the desert like no other, earning himself the nickname ‘Kalahari Ferrari’.

Ross Branch proudly holds the number one plate in the South African Cross Country Championship and is looking back at three consecutive OR1 and overall Cross Country championship titles. Proving he is the fastest Cross Country rider that Southern Africa has to offer, Ross had his eyes set on the ultimate race that every off-road rider aspires to conquer one day: the DAKAR RALLY, mother of all rallies and said to be the toughest motorcycle race on the planet. He did not disappoint with a win in the Rookies category at his debut Dakar Rally in 2019 and is hungry for more. 

What made you want to do the Dakar?: In 1996 my dad and I went to watch the Paris to Cape Town edition of the rally and that’s when I knew I wanted to one day compete in the Dakar Rally!

Any significant achievements:

  • International Rally achievements:
    • Winner Rookie category at 2019 Dakar Rally, Peru (13th place Overall)
    • 2nd place Merzouga Rally, Morocco (April 2019)
  • Local and Intercontinental achievements:
    • South African Overall and OR1 Cross Country champion in 2016, 2017 and 2018
    • Winner of the Botswana 1000 Desert Race in 2011, 2012, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018.
    • Winner of the Khawa Dune Challenge in 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2017 (Botswana).
    • Awarded South African colors for Motocross in 2004.
    • Winner of the African Motorcycle Union (AMU) continental MX championship in 2003, 2007, 2009, 2011 and 2016.
    • Roof of Africa Gold Finisher 2011.
    • Red Bull Braveman Extreme Enduro Finisher 2016.
  • From 2003 – 2005 Ross went racing overseas and can look back at the following achievements:
    • Winner of the Torgau 24 hour Endurance race 2005 (Germany).
    • Competed in Supercross events in Europe and USA (3rd place Denver Supercross 2005).
    • Winner of the Southern Pokal Championship in 2003 (Germany).
    • 2nd place Russian Race Series in 2003 (Russia).
    • Scored world championship points in 4 MX GP’s.

Your biggest inspiration: My mom will always be my greatest inspiration. In 2013 we lost her to cancer, and it was really difficult to continue racing as she had always played such an important role in my racing career. But I knew that she shared my goals and inspired me to never give up on my dreams and to keep fighting until the very end and so I continue to fight harder to achieve our shared goals for both of us!

Your biggest supporter(s): This has got to be my family, the years of countless hours spent, and thousands of kilometers travelled in helping me achieve my dreams… I will never be able to thank them enough. But also, a huge thank you to all of my sponsors and supporters, this journey wouldn’t be possible without you!

My plan for Dakar 2024:

Brand of bike or car: Hero 450 RALLY

Who will be your support at Dakar 2021: Hero Motorsport Factory Racing