‘Words can’t describe it’: Courtney Duncan claims third consecutive world title
New Zealand motocross star Courtney Duncan is world champion again.
The 25-year-old Kawasaki rider won a third consecutive title on Sunday (New Zealand time) with a solid performance in the final round of the FIM Women’s Motocross World Championship (WMX) in Italy.
“This year has been really tough, we’ve had some ups and downs along the way, it hasn’t been a smooth race,” said Duncan afterwards delighted.
“But I got the best out of every situation, and what a feeling, man, to do it three times in a row, with the same team, same brand is amazing. Words can’t describe it.
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After entering the Trentino event with a practical 16-point buffer over Italy’s Kiara Fontanesi and a 28-point cushion over third-placed Dutch Nancy van de Ven, the Kiwi were able to conclude the championship after the first of two. races. .
Misfortune prevented Fontanesi from leading the battle to the end, with the Italian finishing a modest 15th place in the opening race, having crashed hard after catching up with another rider.
Duncan picked up the pace to move up to third in the fourth round, and crossing the line behind German winner Larissa Papenmeier and van de Ven was enough to secure her overall honor.
With the title already decisive, she then finished in style, winning the last race of the season, rounding Papenmeier in the second round and then having full control until the checkered flag, conceding her fifth victory out of the 12 of the season.
“It depends on what that means to you, what’s at stake and what you want to win,” Duncan said.
“I was really feeling a little anxious but as soon as I got to the line the helmet was put on and I felt pretty controlled there. I was able to finish third which was good enough to win the championship in the first which was pretty crazy. I did not expect that.
“To win this last race obviously with a better start, I think I was in control a few laps in the race and I rode really well to keep myself in that position.
“It was good to end the season with a win and I will enjoy it.”
Duncan finished with 268 points in the runners’ championship, with van de Ven breaking third in race two to finish with 237 points and must settle for second place for a fourth consecutive year, Fontanesi finishing third, out of 227.
“Obviously it’s been a good season with good battles, good races and bad races,” said Duncan. “I just fought for every point I could, and it’s great to win a third championship.
“He probably hasn’t really sunk it yet, but he will feel great tomorrow and the days to come.”