Courtney Duncan and Big Van World MTX Kawasaki swept to their fourth victory in six rounds of the 2023 FIM World WMX Women’s Motocross Championship to clinch world title #4 at Afyonkarahisar in Turkey.
Words | Press release
The track was saturated from the previous day’s storms and, even though the sun came out just in time for the final moto of the series, conditions were treacherous and non-stop concentration throughout the twenty-minute-plus-two lap race was essential even though the Kiwi needed only to finish seventeenth or better to secure the title. After sitting out the sighting lap to keep her KX250 and riding gear clean Duncan chose the relative safety of gate number one and rounded turn one in third while her sole remaining rival for the crown was stuck in traffic. Wet dirt on a solid clay base made conditions extremely slippery around the entire lap and there was a constant roost from the rear wheel of the bike in front. The champion-to-be showed all her experience to hang back patiently from the two riders ahead of her, keeping her goggles clean to ensure clear vision for as long as possible, but there were still dangers at every turn as the leaders came up on backmarkers within a few laps and even some of the more experienced riders slithered to earth. On lap five of ten the Kawasaki star built a safe pass for second and avoided danger throughout the final laps to clinch world title number four with her fourth GP victory of the season and fourth consecutive victory at the track on the high plateau of Anatolia.
Honestly I was not too stressed today; I knew what I needed to do and I know how to ride mud. Anything can happen in these conditions but I got a good start and just stayed upright. The conditions were difficult and slippery but it was the same for everyone and I ran it home in second; that was enough for the overall victory and the championship. It’s been a really good season with four GP wins and we were really consistent; for sure it’s a challenge when there are such long breaks between some races after you have started to build momentum but we kept our focus. I feel like we definitely stepped it up this year and my Kawasaki never missed a beat. And this title means so much to me; the first one in 2019 was a sigh of relief, getting the monkey off my back, but I got knocked down last year with my injury and I really wanted to raise the bar this year. It took a lot of hard work but my mom’s here this weekend for the first time and to experience one with her is very special so first we’ll enjoy this one and then we’ll start to work for the next one!”