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Duncan Determined To Push Closer To World Title


5 May 2016

It is going to be another big weekend ahead for diminutive Kiwi motocross racer Courtney Duncan.

But, while the 20-year-old Otago girl may be petite of stature, rivals may underestimate her at their peril.

She lacks nothing in terms of talent or tenacity and she heads to the third round of six in the Women's World Motocross Championships in Germany this weekend in a confident mood.

The Altherm JCR Yamaha Racing Team rider has every right to feel confident after sparkling at the first two rounds of the series thus far - in Qatar and The Netherlands respectively - and the challenging track for this weekend's action, at Teutschenthal, near Leipzig, should suit her aggressive style perfectly.

With three wins from four starts in those earlier two rounds, Duncan leads the championship standings by seven points from Kawasaki's French former world champion Livia Lancelot, with Dutch Yamaha rider Nancy Van De Ven three points further back in third.

A "novice" on the world championship scene, Palmerston's Duncan has sent a few ripples through the competition after she scored back-to-back wins on debut in Qatar and followed that up by winning the second race of the day in The Netherlands by a stunning 25-second margin.

She had suffered a crash in the first race in the deep Dutch sand but recovered to finish fourth, so far the only glitch in her campaign.

"I have this attitude that I want to win and not just in motocross, but in everything that I do. Even playing cards with my friends at a young age, to playing rugby at school, I had to win," said Duncan.

Her entire career has been sharpening Duncan for a crack at the world crown.

"I've always raced against the boys at home and raced for national titles against the boys.

"I'm confident in my programme, I'm confident in my set-up. I know I have the best people helping me. The big thing is for me to make sure I'm prepared and the best I can be.

"To become a women's world champion would mean everything to me and I've had the goal in mind since such a young age. I thrive on the challenge."

Racing against the boys, she finished sixth in the 85cc class at the Junior Motocross World Championships in 2009, but now she's rapidly closing in on the No.1 spot and her performance in Germany on Saturday and Sunday could help seal that.

The fourth of six rounds in the Women's Motocross World Championships is set for France on June 5, with Switzerland to follow on August 7, before it all wraps up at Assen, in The Netherlands again, on August 28.

Duncan and her Altherm JCR Yamaha Racing team is supported by Altherm Window Systems, Yamaha, JCR, CRC, Ados, GYTR, Yamalube, Fox Racing, Hollands Collision Centre, Star Moving, Ward Demolition, Fulton Hogan, Pirelli, FMF, DID, NGK, Matrix, Renthal, Motomuck, Workshop Graphics, Motoseat, Hammerhead, SKF, Vertex Pistons, Rtech Plastics, Etnies, Biketranz and Fulton Hogan.

Words and photo by Andy McGechan,