Despite overcoming numerous technical injuries and a massive crash, honorary Brit Simon Pavey claimed his sixth Dakar finish of his career and a hard earned place on the podium in the Malles Moto category.
But not even the final stage of the event was simple after fuelling problems returned during the last few KM of the final stage. In the end he claimed 93rd on the stage and an impressive 70th overall.
He said: “I spent the last stage crawling along at 60kph because of the fuelling problem. It was annoying more than anything. I think we know what the problem is
now, as a lot of riders have had issues. The fuel quality isn’t always great here and with the heat being so extreme I think the fuel vaporises in the tanks causing an air lock. A few people had problems after the first refuel today, but when after the second refuel it sorted itself. It’s just did my head in riding that slow for so long!”
“After all the problems to still finish third in the Malles Moto class was a bit of a shock really, I just assumed I had dropped out the placing because of all my problems. It’s pretty awesome to come away from Dakar with something too. It’s great considering there were two points I genuinely thought I was out of the race, so I am really chuffed.”
“In a strange way I have been lucky in my bad luck. A lot of people have had situations where you can’t get out, an unlucky fall or whatever. This has been a really hard Dakar though, working out of the box made it a real challenge. The biggest problem for me became the lack of sleep. With all the drama I was only getting three or four hours a night for the last week, it is really taxing.
“This Dakar has been one of the most fun for me though. The riding has been
awesome, some of the best I have ever done. I really like the direction the race has taken, the technical riding suits me and I enjoy it. Like yesterday, it was such different riding to any other. It was hard work, but the wooped sand and then mud was pretty fun.
“I would like to say a massive thank you to all my sponsors and those who have supported me. There is no way it would be possible without you, it has been an awesome race and I am so glad to finish again.”