Thanks to all for the encouraging words, much appreciated!
Had a smashing day, got 3rd on the 1st Special of 107kms, the first half was wide open terrain and spent it hanging with Ollie Lloyd who had started 2 minutes ahead, unfortunately a loose Hand guard slowed him down, I caught up and we played cat and mouse for the next 50 or so kms... then the terrain got bit more technical and he suffered a bit on his larger 690R, I was able to hit a very tricky navigation tulip correctly and blasted off into the second half of the Special which was pure bliss, hard packed mountain trails with quick changes of direction - too much fun.
Second Special didn't go too well, it was really wide and slippery gravel roads (or dare I say avenues) which connected quarries, followed by a technical but very rocky section, one part looked like Hell's Gate had landed in Greece. I switched to survival mode and got 20th but pretty happy that I am now placed 12th in the overall, 2nd in my class (M2).
Tomorrow has been cancelled, apparently the organisation has deemed that the route has been corroded too much and is not passable. A few riders (myself included) suggested we ride one of the previous days again but to no avail.
Pretty bummed as I want as many Specials as possible to compensate for my shitty performance of the 1st day, but i guess these things happen. On the upside, we get some extra rest tomorrow and more time to tinker with the bike, today's second Special was brutal on my poor machine, even though I haven't crashed once (yet).
Catch y'all later