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WMX, MXGP OF FRANCE- Villars Sous Ecot, France, 21 Mai 2023

Perfect weekend for Courtney Duncan in France

Big Van World MTX Kawasaki's Courtney Duncan raced to a maximum score in the French round of the FIM World WMX Women’s Motocross Championship at Villars-sous-Ecot to move twenty points clear in the series.

The French organisers had done a tremendous job of track preparation overnight; indeed speeds were so high, with lap times fifteen seconds faster than the previous day, that Sunday morning's second moto ran to one more lap than the Saturday race during the twenty-minute-plus-two-lap race-distance. Duncan made life straight-forward for herself in moto two with a clear holeshot; she was already four seconds clear of her chasers at the completion of the opening lap, extending her advantage to around ten seconds by half-distance before throttling back to defend that lead as she coped with lappers and she eventually took the chequered flag, with both arms aloft, seven seconds clear. It was a big weekend all-round for the New Zealander as she raced to her third consecutive GP victory and is now the all-time WMX record-holder with a total of twenty-two career wins. The WMX series now takes a break until the weekend of August 19-20 at Arnhem in The Netherlands and, with a secure twenty-point championship lead, Duncan is clear favourites to clinch her fourth title in her five-year collaboration with Kawasaki, who have also extended the lead in the FIM Manufacturers' Championship to twenty-two points after the latest perfect scoreline.
Courtney Duncan: "It's been an awesome weekend and I'm stoked - pole position, two motos and took over the all-time-wins record in WMX. And the holeshot this morning! When did this girl last pull a holeshot? That felt good. The track was super-challenging yesterday but this morning it was completely flat so I knew a start was important. I put in a couple of quick laps to pull a gap and just rode my own race after that to extend my lead in the championship. There's a break in the series now until August so I head home tomorrow to get back to my normal routine and then fly back later in the summer to prepare for Arnhem. It's been a really good year but we have to stay concentrated; we still have a long way to go."
Fellow Kawasaki rider Lotte van Drunen also gated well in moto two but drifted wide at turn one and again had to race through the pack from tenth on the opening lap; By lap eight of twelve she had advanced to fourth and continued to close down the girls racing for the podium placings but just ran out of time to mount a challenge. The fifteen-year-old rookie has consolidated her third place in the series standings and can look forward confidently to reducing the fifteen-point gap to second at the next round of the series in the deep sand of her native Dutch GP.
Lotte van Drunen: "I felt good in practice yesterday but I made a bad start and had to come from way back to fifth. Today I was good out of the gate but I went way too wide at the first turn; there were still some ruts there so it was difficult to turn for me but I fought my way back to fourth. I was in the wheel of second and third but there were some backmarkers in the way so I couldn't pass them; but this is a learning year for me so it's fine. The track was really difficult, particularly yesterday, but I enjoyed it. There's a couple of months break in the world series now but I can't wait for my home GP at Arnhem in August. I have more races before then to keep me busy; in the European Championship I am undefeated so far and I hope to keep it like that and be champion."