Courtesy of Sharon Cox
Courtney Duncan won in convincing style Round 2 of Women MX World Championship going 1-1 on the clay-base track of Agueda, taking the Red Plate at MXGP of Portugal at the weekend.
Proving how formidable Duncan is, when all in sync, # 151 showed skill in race-craft remaining cool, calm, and confident under self-imposed pressure, to take the lead over Dutch racer Nancy van de Ven in lap 2.
Putting in quick lap of 1.53.453 seconds in lap 3, Duncan then settled into her own rhythm up front, a mile-stone achievement given Duncan’s best lap-time was 3 seconds ahead of Van de Ven’s at 1.56.079.
With mind-set in place to race solid performance- knowing pushing too hard was not needed- Courtney showed all learning curves of previous WMX seasons: 2016, ‘017 and ‘018 had relevance to her WMX Round 2 win on Sunday.
In fact, reflecting back to watching and being at Courtney’s debut WMX Round in Qatar 2016, stuck last tent in paddock, with just 4 tools, bike, crate, bare table and one chair, that stark experience never fazed Courtney, it only reaffirmed what she wanted to achieve as she went on to blitz the field with 1-1 win.
Courtney on WMX Round 2 win: ‘Yes very happy. Obviously the goal coming in was to put 2 solid motos together and to go 1-1 is a good feeeling. I put a lot of hard work in between Rounds and I think it showed out there today’.
‘We’ve got a big break now so I’ll head back to NZ and put in some more work, just maintain what I’m doing and come out swinging for Czech’.
Racing under Bike It DRT Kawasaki UK, Duncan’s bench-mark on what she can achieve remains her strongest asset, notched in upper-most part of her mind, and managed through putting in practice all learning curves that the sport has afforded her.
Overall 2nd place went to Nancy van de Ven, finishing 3-2 and stands 2nd Overall in WMX Championship. With 4 points adrift from Duncan’s Overall 89, Nancy knows Title is still up for grabs with next 3 Rounds providing 6 races at 3 different venues: Loket, Imola and Afyonkarahisar in Turkey. #85 has all needed experience to pace herself on and off track between now and WMX Final September 8th.
Bringing up 3rd place in WMX Round 2 was Yamaha’s Larissa Papenmeier maintaining consistent 3-2 result, for 3rd WMX Overall in Championship standings. What Papenmeier confirms is the ability to mix up placings amongst top WMX Riders, making note that results are not fore-gone conclusion all the way to the final chequered flag.
Amandine Vertsappen faced number of challenges at the weekend, tipping off in Race 1, and then repeating same in Race 2, which made hard work for #274 battling through the field to finish 9th Overall, and now placed 4th on WMX Championship table.
Up-coming talented riders Sara Andersen and Lynn Valk put in strong performances racing for 4th and 5th Overall in respective order. Both riders are competing in EMX Women Championship, gaining as much race-time as possible in between WMX Rounds.
Showing WMX career potential was Valk’s pass on Danish rider Line Dam, taking the outside line at end of 12 lap Race 2, proving the young 16 year old is up for the task of competing against her more experienced peers.
KTM’s Shana van der Vlist remained challenged under race conditions, which will prove positive for # 188 preparations over long 10 week break before WMX Round 3 at Loket, Czech Republic on July 28th.