Botswana’s motorbike jewel Ross Branch was greeted to a false start at the Ralley du Maroc prologue in Morocco.
The Kalahari Ferrari, as Branch is affectionately called, returned for the fourth round of the series since competing at the Silk Way Rally in July.
On his first day of the race, Branch’s bike crashed damaging his navigator system forcing him to ride most of the 228 kilometres clueless.
Following the crash, Branch finished the first round of the five-day race placed 26th while his team mate Adrien Van Beveren finished sixth and Andrew short brought his Yamaha WR450F home placed 15th.
In his statement after the first outing, Branch said: “It was not the day I was hoping for today as I started off well this morning and then I made some really bad navigation mistakes which led us to Algeria but looking forward to the next day.”
With a full house of factory riders preparing for the big one in January, riders from all major teams are present weighing each other up. With the Cross Country World championship classification after round 3 of 5, KTM’ s Matthias Walkner was leading the pack with 58 points followed by Gregorio Caselani of Honda with 38 points and Husqvarna’s Skyler Howes placed third while Branch sitting on the seventh spot with 25 points.
Meanwhile, the 35-year-old Monster Energy Yamaha team member has proved his mettle against the best in the motor bike off road arena. Throughout his career, Branch has won the Southern Pokal championship in 2003 held in Germany and once crowned champion of the Torgau 24-hour Endurance race in 2005. Elevating through the ranks, over the past years Branch dominated the Toyota 1000 desert race earning him a place at the most prestigious Dakar Rally.
Branch’s brilliance witnessed his astonishing performance leading him to winner of the rookie category in the 2019 Dakar Rally in Peru. Later in the same year the Kalahari Ferrari was placed second at the Merzouga Rally in Morocco.