Courtney Duncan: 2021 Women’s World Champion

PIETRAMURATA (Trentino) 25 October 2021 – Bike it MTX Kawasaki’s Courtney Duncan has repeated her success once again, as she claimed the WMX World title for a third consecutive time after an intense season of the FIM Women’s Motocross World Championship. The Kiwi had to fight hard with Kiara Fontanesi who was keen on going after her seventh world title.

Introduced to motocross by her stepdad, Duncan started riding at the age of 7, enjoying bike time as much as she could after school and on the weekends at her own small track in her backyard. In 2016, Duncan made her first appearance in the WMX Championship in Qatar with two impressive race wins which saw her take to the top step of the podium on her first outing. She finished the season fifth in the standings, with five race wins and three GP victories under her belt.

In 2017, she returned to try again and following a season’s long battle with Kiara Fontanesi and Livia Lancelot, Duncan finished third in the standings despite missing two GPs and just two points shy of the title. She still had a really strong year, with four race wins and three GP victories. A year later, bad luck struck once again as an injury forced the New Zealander to miss the final two rounds of her 2018 campaign, which meant she would not become champion just yet.

Though in 2019, the Kiwi was finally able to get the job done as she secured the crown for the very first time. She entered the season strong and carried this moment to win 9 out of 10 races, only to miss out on the perfect score at the opening round in Valkenswaard as a massive crash over the finish jump cost her a podium finish. But she made up for it and claimed the next 4 overall podium victories, finally winning the WMX Championship with a 30-point lead over the Dutch rider, Nancy van de Ven.

The journey to the second world title wasn’t exactly an easy one for Duncan, who had to fight for the gold plate until the very last race of the season, during the 2020 MXGP of Pietramurata. She started the season strong, with a double race win at the opening round in Matterley Basin to enter the following round in Valkenswaard with the red plate.

Then as we all know, things took an unexpected turn, as the COVID-19 pandemic put a stop to racing for the next months. The ladies then returned to international racing at the MXGP of Lombardia 2020, which was a turning point for Duncan in terms of the championship. She won the opening race, though the second one took an intense direction as the Kiwi was thrown into the air on one of the tabletops before the finish line. Subsequently, she lost the red plate after the DNF but was able to gain back some points by the following round in Mantova.

The title chase went down to the wire, as the top three ladies, Nancy Van De Ven, Larissa Papenmeier, Courtney Duncan and Kiara Fontanesi entered the final round in Pietramurata with just 10 points separating the four front runners. Duncan didn’t get the best start in the opening race, though was able to fight her way through to take the win, while in the second race she was third. Duncan finished the day tied on points with Van De Ven, so the championship was decided by race wins, and it was the Kiwi’s five heat victories over Van De Ven’s three that gave her the advantage to take her second world title in two years.

In 2021, Duncan entered the season with the weight of being the defending champion for the second time. The season kicked-off in Loket, Czech Republic where the Kiwi had the perfect start to her campaign going 1-1 in the races to win the overall. Things then were tougher at the second round in Lommel, Belgium, where she failed to mount the podium as the win, as well as the red plate went to Shana van der Vlist.

By the third round, Duncan was able to bounce back and go 2-1 after an intense battle with Kiara Fontanesi, to win the round of Turkey and take back the championship lead. Though at the second of the double race in Turkey, it was Fontanesi who was victorious with a 1-1 result, as Duncan was forced to settle for second position.

The championship then came to blows in Spain as Duncan and Fontanesi battled closely. Duncan had to be resilient to get ahead of her main championship rival and despite also a huge crash in that first heat, the Kawasaki rider was able to bounce back in race two to win the race and take the overall victory for Nancy Van De Ven.

Duncan entered the final round in Pietramurata for the round of Trentino with a 16-point advantage over home hero Kiara Fontanesi who was keen on going for her seventh world title in front of the Italian crowd.

As the gate dropped for race one, Fontanesi found herself in trouble as she came together with another rider and had to fight back from last. Meanwhile Duncan was having a much better race as she made her way through the field to finish the race third, while Fontanesi managed to come back to 15th which was not enough to take the title combat into race two. Duncan went on to secure the 2021 Women’s Motocross World Championship as she crossed the line in the first heat. The Kiwi celebrated her victory in style with a team celebration near the start gate with 958 Santero Wines showers and plenty of cheers for the three-time World Champion!

Courtney Duncan: “Obviously it was a good season with good battles, as well as good and bad races. I just made the best out of every situation this year, fought for every point I could, and it feels great to win a third championship. It hasn’t properly sunk it yet, but it will feel good tomorrow and the days to come. It was nice to end the season with a win and I am going to enjoy it”.

   

Watch Courtney Duncan 2021 WMX Champion clip HERE

 

Quick Facts…

DOB: 26/01/1996

BEST RESULT: 3-time WMX World Champion (2019, 2020,2021)

FIRST ROUND RACED: Round of Qatar 2016

FAVOURITE TRACK: Portugal, Agueda

 

2021 stats:

RACE WINS: 5

PODIUMS: 5

OVERALL VICTORIES: 3

POLE POSITIONS: 1

 

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Infront Moto Racing

FIM

Courtney Duncan

Author: 
Infront Moto Racing

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