It would have come as a surprise to absolutely nobody when Otago’s Courtney Duncan ruled the roost at the big annual South Motocross Championships at the weekend.
She totally annihilated the mostly-male competition at the two-day event, taking her Altherm JCR Yamaha YZ250F to win five races from five starts in the MX1 class and also winning all five MX2 class races, before moving on to destroy the competition in the all-in feature race that wound up the weekend at Invercargill’s Sandy Point track.
Although undoubtedly impressive, the 11-race clean sweep by the 20-year-old from Palmerston was inconsequential in the bigger scheme of things – she has much bigger fish to fry this season.
But her dominance was also obviously a great confidence boost as she heads away this week to prepare for round two of the Women’s Motocross World Championships at the deep sand track of Valkenswaard, in The Netherlands, on March 28.
Duncan dominated round one of the world series in Qatar last month, winning both her races and humbling her world championship rivals.
Her Altherm JCR Yamaha Racing Team boss, Motueka’s former Grand Prix star Josh Coppins, said the racing in Southland was a perfect hit-out for her before she heads overseas again.
“To be honest, it just worked out well, with the sandy track similar to what is coming up for her in Holland. So it was a good training foundation for the next event and there is no better training than lining up in proper races as well.”
Duncan was satisfied with her “work-out”.
“I don’t really know who I was racing against because I was just concentrating on racing my pit-board to see if I could keep consistent lap times,” she said.
“I guess you could say I was just racing myself,” she said, the truth in that comment blindingly obvious, with her lap times telling the full story.
Her pace on Saturday was nearly four seconds a lap quicker than any other rider at the event and, the following day, she upped the ante to lap the track six seconds quicker than the next best rider.
She won the feature race more than half a lap ahead of the runner-up rider.
“Lining up for 11 races was a great work-out and great preparation for me for Valkenswaard. I know what to expect from the other riders after facing them at Qatar, but the deep sand in Holland will be something new for me. But I think I’m the best-prepared that I can be.
“I grew up racing here (in Southland), so it is always good to come back. The track got nice and rough, so it made sense to come down here to train for Holland.”
The Altherm JCR Yamaha Racing team is supported by Altherm Window Systems, Yamaha, JCR, CRC, Ados, GYTR, Yamalube, Fox Racing, Hollands Collision Centre, Star Moving, Ward Demolition, Fulton Hogan, Pirelli, FMF, DID, NGK, Matrix, Renthal, Motomuck, Workshop Graphics, Motoseat, Hammerhead, SKF, Vertex Pistons, Rtech Plastics, Etnies, Biketranz and Fulton Hogan.
© Words and photo by Andy McGechan, www.BikesportNZ.com
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