Pavey secures his best result of the 2011 event to finish the stage 47th in what proved to be the hardest day of the race with multiple crashes, injuries and retirements.
He said: “ Today’s stage was hard, a proper rally stage. It’s the first stage this year where I have been physically destroyed at the end of the day. The riding was super physical, really jarring terrain that vibrated you in half. The rocks were so bad it vibrated the bolts holding the navigation gear till they snapped and those bolts aren’t a weak point. That was a simple zip tie fix and didn’t cost me any time today.”
“Experience helped me hugely today. Right from waypoint two people were going the wrong way. There we a bunch of tracks leaving it but they weren’t from the rally. They went in completely the wrong direction, fortunately that gave me a chance at clean air and I ended up riding the whole day alone. I saw a lot of people just riding off in strange directions and tracks that were definitely not right.”
“With the riding be so hard and physical today it was easy to make mistakes. I had a little tumble but nothing too serious but it was a day to break yourself on. Today was by far the slowest I have ridden on this year’s race, without a doubt. The more tired I got the slower I got too, so it does surprise me I did alright and I’m now third in the Marathon class just 20 minutes behind the class leader.
“I feel really good at the moment, the bike is strong, we have fixed the small issues with fuel and everything looks great. Today is the rest day so I am going to completely go over the bike and make sure it is ok. The engine has impressed me with how it’s holding up, I have been quiet gentle but oil is coming out clean at the end of each day. The broken sub-frame looks like it was just a weak one and this one is much better. The old one had done a lot of testing miles as well. I have done a lot of contemplation about whether to stay in Marathon or change my engine and drop to Malles Moto but after talking to everyone here I have decided to stay with my current engine. It is working so well, there is not a single rattle from it and by changing it there is always the chance the new one might have an issue or something might not be put back together correctly.”