Branch gets 7th TDR win

The 1000 Toyota Desert Race (TDR) has become one of the most obvious sporting events to predict. If you are a betting man or woman, then you will definitely go with the Gineil De Villiers in the production car category and when it comes to two-wheeler bikes it will definitely be Ross Branch. Local rider Ross Branch cemented his legend in Jwaneng this past weekend when he   won the Desert Race for the seventh time. Ross crossed the start finish line soon after the dominant Toyota Gazoo Racing Hilux piloted by De Villiers. Branch arrived to jubilant cheers and pomp as he popped a wheel to celebrate his 7th TDR victory. Throughout the years Branch has been a perfect example of man and machine working in perfect harmony as he dominated the TDR. “It was a very long race and it was extremely hard because of the cars that made routes yesterday. The bike was well set up but this morning I had a close call with a car driven by one of the spectators. It was fun I had a lot of time in the saddle today which is good preparation for the 2019 Dakar Rally,” Branch said. “This is a step in the right direction and look forward to Dakar.” In a post-race interview, Branch said he has competed the Desert Race in his home town Jwaneng and he is now   hoping to achieve a good result at the Dakar scheduled for Peru in South America. The KTM rider said   preparations for the Dakar are underway and he intended to do a lot of riding in the sandy terrain of Jwaneng, which   gives him an advantage. “I want to spend a lot of time in the bike because I know the area and the sand is good for practice. I have been working hard this year, the gaps between competing riders are small these days because my rivals are improving so I have to be   focused on the race and ensure I don’t get lost and watch out for different obstacles,” he said. “I have now won seven times in the Desert Race including three wins in Jwaneng.”Despite having a close call with a vehicle driven by   spectators, Branch said local fans   are fantastic and he has seen spectators along the full 500 kms in the race. You see friends from Jwaneng and back home in Gaborone. “When I am a bit down and tired, they are screaming my name it’s a real motivator.” Branch said the spectators did not come on the track and they are well behaved. “Even after Dakar I will continue to race the TDR, I will never stop racing here as long as I have a contract with Comfort his part the KTM race team mechanic Kevin Tyrer said there is a lot to the Desert Race and Branch is a home town boy. “For the KTM team the race was extremely   smooth, we had a few issues but it was an easy race   for us. The motivation on the team comes from winning and beating other manufacturers. Regarding the Dakar Tyrer said the race is what people dream of and the cost factor   of competing there is extravagant to have the Dakar on your mind means you should be extremely committed. “Last year you had Vincent Crosbie who went there and he did well.”