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WMX, Valkenswaard, THE NETHERLANDS, 8 March 2020
Stanley Leroux / Pascal Haudiquert
Courtney Duncan and DRT Kawasaki overcame a difficult weekend in the Dutch round of the FIM World WMX Women’s Motocross Championship at Valkenswaard to retain the series leader’s red plate.
Much more comfortable on a circuit which had been carefully groomed by the track crew overnight Duncan quickly put memories of Saturday’s disappointing first moto fourth behind her to slot into an immediate second place on the opening lap of Sunday morning’s race two. Successfully acclimatising herself to the damp sandy conditions so different to the tracks she grew up racing in her native New Zealand Duncan rode with her usual determination to take the chequered flag second despite twice surrendering the position temporarily to one of the local sand experts; her Dutch rival had sneaked past mid-moto and again on the final lap as they negotiated backmarker traffic but a determined Duncan refused to submit and launched back into second at the very last corner. The gritty performance could not salvage a weekend overall GP podium in a tightly-fought leaderboard but the move means that she retains the championship lead by five points and will once again proudly mount the red plate of the series leader to her KX250 at the next round of the series in Spain on April 18/19. Kawasaki also continues to lead the Manufacturers’ standings. Courtney Duncan: “The conditions were tough this weekend and the bottom line is that I need to get better in these conditions. I was able to turn round a bad race yesterday into something positive today, so that’s a win. It’s a long season and I didn’t want to do anything stupid when I didn’t feel comfortable. I know what I can do on the hardpack so I have full confidence in our ability to repeat the titles. We’re still leading and have the red plate; that’s the main thing. We’ve got six weeks to the next round so I go home now to put more work in.“