Ross Branch has exited the Dakar Rally after he fell off his bike on Friday, after just two kilometers from the start on the day six.
He had a difficult start to the this year's rally as on the first two days, navigation problems saw him finishing outside the top 20 in overall standings. He tried to stage a come back on stage three with a 11th spot finish on the day, as he moved places higher in the rally standings. In stage four, he managed to settle for 14th place in the longest and fast paced stage of the race. His biggest triumph came in stage five as he was second on the day, and moved to seventh place in the overall standings. Branch's performance in stage five was glimmer of hope as he just missed his second second career Dakar Rally stage win by five minutes whilst he was just two places off his targeted top five finish.
Things went south, half way through the rally as yesterday, he could not go further than two kilometres, which saw him exit the race. "A really bad day for me and I’m so disappointed that my rally is over. Just two kilometres in I hit a ledge. I tried my best to ride it out but unfortunately I couldn’t. I guess it was the same for everyone but I wasn’t really happy about racing this stage as I know the damage that the trucks can cause. It’s frustrating as things were starting to go really well for me so to be out of the race when things are looking good, it’s tough to take," Branch reacted to his mishap. It is yet another disappointing Dakar Rally for the 'Kalahari Ferrari' as he failed to complete the race for the second time. Meanwhile, another local biker John Kelly is keeping things steady on his debut appearance as he is currently in 49th place overall. Kelly and the rest of the riders are resting today and will resume the final stages of the race tomorrow.