Duncan cruises to third world motocross title

New Zealander Courtney Duncan has wrapped up her third consecutive women’s motocross world championship title at the final round at Trentino in Italy.

Courtney Duncan
Photo: Monster Energy

Duncan entered the final stage of the series with a 16-point advantage over closest rival Kiara Fontanesi, but some bad luck in the races prevented the Italian from taking the battle to the final race.

In race one, Germany’s Larissa Papenmeier took the win ahead ahead of Nancy Van De Ven (Netherlands), followed by Duncan and Amandine Verstappen (Belgium).

Fontanesi recovered from an early crash to get back to 15th place, but it was not enough to take the title fight to the final race.

In race two, Fontanesi went down again but recovered from the back of the field to finish seventh.

Papenmeier led Duncan early on, but the New Zealander grabbed the lead by the second lap, stretching the margin to 4.391sec over the German.

Duncan maintained full control until the chequered flag, collecting her fifth race win of the season as Papenmeier crossed second ahead of Van De Ven who was able to get by Lynn Valk of the Netherlands.

With a race win and a second, Papenmeier won the final round of the series, with Duncan second on the podium, while Van De Ven took third.

In terms of the championship, Duncan secured her third consecutive world title as Van De Ven finished the 2021 season with the silver medal ahead of Fontanesi, who had to settle for bronze.

Duncan, 25, was happy to finish the season on a high.

“Obviously it was a good season with good battles, good races and bad races. I just made the best out of every situation this year, fought for every point I could, and it feels great to win a third championship,” she said.

Duncan said she’d been “a little nervous” in the first race of the day, but finishing third and closing out the championship made the second race more enjoyable.

“I think I was in control with a couple laps into the race and rode really well to keep myself in that position. It was nice to end the season with a win and I am going to enjoy it.”

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