Kelly gets P200,000 boost for Dakar Rally

Victorious ride: Kelly won the Kalahari Rally which saw him pocket P200,000
Victorious ride: Kelly won the Kalahari Rally which saw him pocket P200,000

Biker John Kelly has received a P200,000 cash boost following his triumph at the Kalahari Rally held recently in Mahikeng, South Africa.

The Kalahari Rally and Rallye du Maroc (Morocco Rally) are the only 2021 Dakar Rally entry races in Africa. The winners of the two rallies get cash injections to aid their preparations for the prestigious event that will be held in Saudi Arabia for the second consecutive year. Kelly had announced that he needs around P750,000 as he prepares for his Dakar Rally debut. He said the weekend’s prize money will come in handy. “I have won entry into Dakar Rally. This does not mean I have qualified.

I had qualified already, this just means that I have won my entry, which is worth just over P200,000. So that helps extensively with my fundraising. I am very happy with the performances and I am thankful for the support I have received. I am happy to keep the Botswana flag high and keep it there until the Dakar,” he said. Kelly was in Mahikeng racing over a distance of 3,708km, the longest terrain he has been in, in over a year. The 31-year-old was having a good time on the bike at the race with three stage wins from five.

He, however, had mechanical problems with his bike midway through the rally, but fortunately, these were not enough to force him out of the race. Kelly’s closest rival, Charan Moore of South Africa was forced to drop out of the race after his bike broke on stage five leaving the local lad far ahead of his competitors. “Before we even started stage six, Charan Moore decided that he would not race stage six and forfeit to exit. As a result, I was in the lead at the start of stage six by about an hour and a half.


All I needed to do was to bring the bike home, drive safely and get the win,” Kelly said.

This was his second Kalahari Rally career victory. Meanwhile, it was a sour debut for super motorcycle biker, Temogo Pilane. He was in Port Elizabeth making his first appearance in a competitive super motorcycle but crushed on the last of the race’s two heats.

Pilane had a good start in the first heat as he finished sixth. “The way I calculated it, I thought if I finish fourth or better in heat two I might get a podium place. I was really gunning for it in heat two, but sadly for me because I was going hard on lap four, my brakes failed. There was no pressure on the brakes and when they finally found the pressure, they locked the front wheel.

I tried to get back but the engine did not start. I was heartbroken but I am so proud of my performance,” he said.

Editor's Comment
Where Are The Vaccines?

The government has without a doubt come up with good initiatives such as partnering with private medical practitioners in the vaccine roll-out. This was indeed a welcome development that reduced congestions at government vaccination centres.Well, unfortunately, the celebrations were short-lived. People flocked to the vaccination centres in large numbers and most of the private clinics are currently left with no vaccines and unending telephone...

Have a Story? Send Us a tip
arrow up