The two South Island riders were being lauded, alongside their fellow 2019 world motorcycling championship winners from all corners of the world, at the lavish end-of-season celebrations.
Otago’s Duncan and Canterbury’s Macdonald shared the top billing with such noted motorcycling legends as Spanish brothers Marc Marquez (MotoGP) and Alex Marquez (Moto2), Slovenia’s Tim Gajser (MXGP), Spain’s Jorge Prado (MX2) and Britain’s Bradley Freeman (Enduro GP), to name just a handful of the 2019 world champion riders who were hosted at the black-tie affair.
The 23-year-old Duncan had raced her Kawasaki to victory in the 2019 Women’s Motocross World Championships, capping off three frustrating seasons of nearly-but-not-quite attempts, while the 20-year-old MacDonald (Sherco) won the FIM 125cc Youth Enduro World Championships this year, in just his second season of trying.
New Zealanders have won off-road motorcycling world championships in the past – with Taranaki’s Shayne King, Bay of Plenty’s Ben Townley and Auckland’s Tony Cooksley and Auckland’s Katherine Oberlin-Brown (nee Prumm) claiming motocross titles and Bay of Plenty’s Stefan Merriman winning four senior enduro world championship titles – but never before have Kiwis claimed two world championships in the one season.
Duncan photo courtesy Ray Archer; Macdonald photo courtesy Herve Pradal.
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