My name is John Kelly!

Rally is my art.

My story

It all started in 1995 upon Yamaha PW50, navigating my way through the farms of Notwane. I have since progressed not stop until today, where I have achieved the top spot for the 2017 Botswana off-road Championship, 2 finishes at Lesotho’s Roof of Africa, 4 Toyota 1000 Desert Race finishes (won the BMS division in 2018), as well as a 3rd place finish in the 2019 Kalahari Rally with 3 stage wins!!!

After completing my studies in Pretoria, I made the move back to my homeland where I joined the Gaborone Motor Club Committee. Together with the committee, we are striving to rejuvenate the Botswana off-road racing scene, giving back to the community that has given him so much in previous years.

So here I am, walking in the path of fellow Motswana champions before him… Mr Crosbie, Mr Branch and Mr Alexander… its safe to say that I have have some big boots fill. I have specifically chosen to do the ‘Malle Moto’ / “Unassisted” Class of Dakar, which I have been preparing for, to start the rally in in January 2022.

My goals

Choosing to compete in the Malle Moto Category has allowed for a more manageable sponsorship campaign goal than a traditional Dakar entry. A target of seven hundred and fifty thousand Pula (P750 000) has been set to cover the costs of the entry fee, motorcycle rental, motorcycle kit, spares, and tools. Although this does not cover all the costs that are needed to get to the start line, I feel that my goal is realistic and promising.

This campaign is important to me, Firstly to help me reach my lifelong dream of riding the ultimate off-road race the world has to offer and Secondly, I wish to prove to myself and others that even though I am not on the level of a top 10 finish at the event, that I too can compete and finish this event through hard work, determination and, with the full support of the Southern Africa racing community who I’m inviting to join me on this epic event.
To get ready for this event I have entered two extremely challenging events. First is the Kalahari Rally in September of 2021. This will challenge me on the same mental, and physical level as the Dakar Rally, though it is only one week of racing, as opposed to two weeks in Dakar. The second event is the mighty Roof of Africa (Gold Class) in Lesotho!!!

This will be my physical assurance marker. If I can get to the finish of this event in November, then I know I will be physically ready for the Dakar Rally in January.
In the interim of these events and the Dakar, I train throughout the week in the gym and on the bicycle. I also do long out-rides over weekends to get my body conditioned to long hours in the saddle.

Why I need your support

In discussions with friends and family, the decision to race the Dakar was made on the basis that I may not get this chance again. With a successful and strong last few years of racing, together with good backing from fellow racers and the racing community, I decided that this was as good a time as any!

If you are able to help and contribute towards my Dakar dream, I would be eternally grateful for your efforts, and try to do my best to make you all proud! I truly believe that every Thebe/Cents counts as well as all the social media shares and likes! Small or big, your contribution will get me a step closer to that start line.

Thank you for taking the time to read my story and I look forward to having you in my Dakar corner!

My sponsors

What my training consisted of for Dakar 2022



3rd-10th September Kalahari Rally (COMPLETED)
24rd-27th September Tankwa Rally (COMPLETED)
24th– 27th November Roof of Africa
2nd-14th January Dakar 2022



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