Since Hero motorcycles hit South African shores they have been making waves with their solid engineering and reliability. This was epitomised by a Rally kitted X-Pulse 200 finishing the Roof of Africa recently. Breaking news on the world Rally scene is that our Kalahari Ferrari, Ross Branch is leaving Yamaha to join Hero Motosports as one of three factory riders for the 2022 season. I say ‘our’, despite the fact that Ross hails from Botswana, because damn, that’s close enough! Ross burst onto the world rally scene by winning Rookie of the year in his first Dakar in 2019 and following that up with a privateer stage win in the 2020 Dakar. He also won the first Rally of the year in 2021 in Kazakhstan. He has been plagued by injury and sheer bad luck, but consistently shown that he can mix it with the worlds’ best.
Ross has shown sportsmanship, grit and determination that, coupled with his huge talent make him a fantastic team man. Ross joins Joaquim Rodrigues and Franco Caimi on the Hero factory team which will contest the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge in March. The Hero Rally 450 has shown that it is super competitive with JRod’s stage win in this year’s event. It could just be a match made in heaven for both Ross and Hero Motosport. Both entities are hungry for success and eminently capable. We wish Ross and Hero everything of the best in their journey together. We are behind you all the way!
Ross Branch, Rider, Hero MotoSports Team Rally: “I am thrilled and extremely honoured to be joining a team that’s making the headlines for all the right reasons. I’ve been tracking the growth of Hero MotoSports for the last couple of years, and have often been amazed at how quickly this young team has made it to the top league. I’m joining the team at a great time, and I hope I’ll be able to do my best to deliver great results. I look forward to riding alongside some of the best and most promising riders in the sport, who are also my good friends. I thank Hero MotoCorp for putting their faith in me, and I consider it a great honour to be representing the world’s largest manufacturer of motorcycles and scooters at some of the world’s toughest races!”
Hero South Africa: “We are thrilled to have Ross Branch the ‘Kalahari Ferrari’ join Team Hero, to continue their success on the world rally stage. As Hero South Africa we pledge to offer our full support to Ross. Hopefully, Ross and his 450 will be available in SA soon which we are really excited about and will arrange some evening or event. The Hero brand continues to grow month on month and the XPulse 200 in particular which shares design principles with the Hero Rally 450.”