Kiwi Courtney Duncan has powered her way to a third successive women’s motocross world championship.
Duncan, 25, held a 16-point lead over Italian Kiara Fontanesi heading into Sunday’s (NZ time) final round at Trentino, Italy.
And the New Zealander cruised to victory, wrapping up the title in the first of two races, when Fontanesi struggled to a 15th-placed finish after an early collision.
Duncan crossed the line third, behind German winner Larissa Papenmeier, before finishing the season in style, banking her fifth win, after a second-lap pass on the race one winner.
The Otago native finished 31 points clear of Dutchwoman Nancy Van De Ven, with Fontanesi fading to third a further 10 points back.
“Obviously, it was a good season, with good battles, good races and bad races,” says Duncan. “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.
“It probably hasn’t really sunk it yet, but it will feel good tomorrow and the days to come. The first race I got third, and I got a little nervous there and stiff in the first half of the race.
“The girls out front ran really good, but I was able to finish third and obviously close the championship with a race to go.
“That was quite nice – when you’re aiming to be there, it kind of limits the risks. To win that last race obviously with a better start, I think I was in control 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.”
Image – Photosport, video – Newshub Courtney Duncan in action