Dakar : Team Hero finishes a tough stage 9 with a top-5 result

– Ross Branch maintains overall 2nd place

Hero MotoSports Team Rally, the motorsport team of the world’s largest manufacturer of motorcycles and scooters – Hero MotoCorp, completed the 9th Stage of Dakar 2024, with team rider Ross Branch finishing in the 5th position. With only 3 Stages left in the race, a confident Ross continues to hold the 2nd overall position.

Stage 9 was yet another long and rough day in the Saudi Arabian landscape. The 436 km timed special from Ha’il to AlUla was dotted with a lot of sandy tracks, hill climbs, and difficult riding on rocky plateaus. The tracks were invisible in several parts, making navigation all the more difficult across the day.

Ross Branch, the Hero pilot who has amassed massive global attention with his consistent high performance since the beginning of Dakar 2024, continues his fight for the top prize. In Stage 9, a couple of mistakes in the hills and camel grass cost him some dear time. His trail behind the leader of the Rally (Ricky Brabec, Honda) has widened after this Stage to ~7 minutes. However, the Botswanan who flies airplanes when not racing, is confident that he will be able to make good headway in the next few days.

The Dakar caravan has returned to AlUla, from where the Rally started out 9 days ago. Going on a 610 km loop around AlUla, the competitors will embark on a difficult stage amidst the monumental rocks of the region. A good mix of sandy and fast tracks should work in favor of stabilizing the top order.

Ross Branch: « It was quite a long and rough day today. I wasn’t fast enough from the get go. I made a few mistakes in the camel grass this morning, couldn’t get on couple of dunes easily, and lost a lot of time eventually. Ricky (Brabec) has got a bit more lead over us now, but it’s not the end of the Rally. We’re here in one piece, the bike’s good and I’m doing well. We’re still in the fight, and I’ll put my all to hammer down tomorrow, and hope for the best outcomes in the next few days. »

Provisional Rankings – Stage 9
1. Adrien Van Beveren, Monster Energy Honda Team, 04h 36m 46s
2. Ricky Brabec, Monster Energy Honda Team, + 0m 32s
3. Pablo Quintanilla, Monster Energy Honda Team, + 4m 19s
4. Toby Price, RedBull KTM Factory Racing, + 6m 34s
5. Ross Branch, Hero MotoSports Team Rally, + 6m 59s…

Provisional Overall Rankings – at the end of Stage 9
1. Ricky Brabec, Monster Energy Honda Team, 40h 53m 49s
2. Ross Branch, Hero MotoSports Team Rally, + 7m 09s
3. Adrien Van Beveren, Monster Energy Honda Team, + 11m 26s
4. Ignacio Cornejo, Monster Energy Honda Team, + 13m 46s
5. Kevin Benavides, RedBull KTM Factory Racing, + 28m 12s…