Whilst most people spend their December holidays relaxing and continuing to fight through the Covid-19 pandemic, the Dakar rally continues. Yes, the extreme off-road race continues as the Dakar convoy heads from Bisha all the way to Ha’il to take on the dunes and fierce sand mountains.
The team here at ZA Bikers, have always admired Ross Branch for his skilled riding style and determination over his off-road riding career, in Africa and now at the Dakar. We look forward to seeing the Kalahari Ferrari endure and dominate the toughest races on earth—the 2021 Dakar Rally.
Monster Energy Yamaha Rally Team’s Ross Branch has raced to an impressive fourth-place finish on stage two of the 2021 Dakar Rally following a faultless ride. With his strong result, Ross advances up to third in the provisional classification.
Stage two of the 2021 Dakar Rally saw the Monster Energy Yamaha Rally Team take on the first sand dunes of the event. With their navigational skills put to the test throughout the technical stage, the team ended the day optimistic about the stages ahead and looking forward to the coming days in the sand dunes.
Setting off in 15th position proved highly advantageous for Ross Branch as he went on to finish in fourth place following an impeccable ride throughout the technical 457-kilometre special. Attacking the sand dunes at the start of the stage he rode confidently, chasing down the leading riders. With Ross never falling outside the top six throughout the stage, the Yamaha WR450F Rally mounted rider now finds himself placed third in the provisional overall classification, just 14 seconds down on the second-placed rider.
Ross Branch, Monster Energy Yamaha Rally Team:
“It was another good day for me today. I really enjoyed the stage and it was nice to follow some tracks and focus on my riding. The stage was tricky towards the end, some technical sections that required accurate navigation but we got through that fine, so it was a good day at the office. This year’s rally is really tough but I’m having a great time here with the team and loving the racing so I can’t wait for tomorrow.”
Alexandre Kowalski, Yamaha Europe Off-Road Racing Manager:
“It was a good and bad day for the team. It was a difficult stage with very deep sand in places, but our riders enjoyed the challenge. Both Ross and Adrien rode perfectly today. Minimal risks and solid results, but this may hurt them tomorrow as they will start with the leading riders. But this is how rally goes and they both know what they are doing so they will look to maintain their strong overall positions.”
Stage 2 Provisional Classification
1. Joan Barreda (Honda) 4:17:56
2. Ricky Brabec (Honda) 4:21:51 + 0:03:55
3. Pablo Quintanilla (Husqvarna) 4:23:58 + 0:06:02
4. Ross Branch (Yamaha) 4:29:50 + 0:11:54
Overall Provisional Classification (after stage 2)
1. Joan Barreda (Honda) 8:15:38
2. Ricky Brabec (Honda) 8:22:01 + 0:06:23
3. Ross Branch (Yamaha) 8:22:15 + 0:06:37
Stage three of the 2021 Dakar Rally is a loop stage that starts from, and returns to, Wadi Ad-Dawasir. The 629 km stage features a 403 km special and provides a real challenge of mixed terrain including dunes and technical canyons, linked together with high-speed sections.