Courtesy of Sharon Cox
Courtney Duncan wins Women MX World Championship Round 4 producing stellar 1-1 victory on the hard-pack, rutty circuit of Imola extending points lead of 23 margin heading into Final WMX Round in 3 weeks time.
Under hot weather conditions, Duncan made solid performances count in both races, making passes stick, minimizing mistakes and not bowing under pressure ramped up by fast-starters Dutch rider Nancy van de Ven and German racer Larissa Papenmeier.
Coming into Race 1 on pole, Courtney opted for outside gate-pick and was just about squeezed out from front runners around hole-shot giving Nancy van de Ven fair advantage to lead the Opening lap.
Duncan made the pass on Van de Ven on the inside, held the lead until caught in rutty lines of the track which had changed up since earlier in the day. Van de Ven passed for the lead with Yamaha’s Larissa Papenmeier making impressive head-way running top 3. Duncan regained all important rhythm and took the chequered with 8 seconds to spare.
Battles for 4th and 5th ensured between KTM rider Sara Andersen and Lynn Valk with French MX Women Champion Amandine Verstappen fighting for position against younger-teenager Shana van der Vlist rounding out top 7 in Race 1.
Starts were definitely key in Race 2, with Van de Ven again pulling hole-shot, Papenemeier close behind ahead of nice jump by Sara Andersen. Duncan had to work her way through from 4th, placing extra skill in managing speed against hard-racing track.
Making small mistake in rut, Duncan re-grouped and took the pass on lead rider Papenemeier to claim victory Overall, extending points lead heading into Final WMX Round at MXGP of Turkey on September 8th.
As Courtney says: ‘I’m very happy with this weekend. I’d say it’s been the hardest one for me by far. I struggled all weekend so to come away with 2 wins on a track I found quite difficult is positive’.
‘I couldn’t really find my rhythm. It took me near half-way through the race to find a flow round here so I couldn’t be more happy to extend the lead’.
With determined performances from fast-out-of-the-gate Nancy van de Ven and oh-so-fit Larissa Papenmeier controlling race tactics up front, along with young guns Danish rider Sara Andersen, Lynn Valk, Shana van der Vlist and French Women MX Champion Amandine Verstappen- it’s not until last lap, last corner and chequered flag will 2019 WMX Champion be crowned.
So, heat is on, intensity is ramped and expectation level sky high. WMX Final Round MXGP of Turkey September 8th.
Film edit: WMX Race 2 Highlights MXGP of Italy.