When Courtney Duncan first made the move over from New Zealand to contest the WMX series there was a lot of hype and rightly so! However, into her third year competing in the series and she still hasn’t been able to secure the title.
Speed certainly hasn’t been the issue for Duncan as she admits herself that she’s been making too many mistakes which have cost her the world title.
However, so far this year things are going to plan and she now has a fifteen points advantage in the championship after three rounds and the half way point in the series.
While Duncan is strong favourite for the title stranger things have happened so it’s not over just yet but she’s looking strong despite coming into the season with little bike time due to an injury.
We caught up with Courtney after her impressive 1-1 in Germany.
Gatedrop: Courtney, great weekend here for you in Germany going 1-1, can you talk me through your moto’s?
Courtney Duncan: Yeah, I’m really happy with the weekend. Obviously to go 1-1 is a really good achievement, I was able to score fifty points which I’m really happy with. I pulled two holeshots which is also a positive, it was some good racing this weekend.
Gatedrop: This is your third year competing in the WMX series but you still haven’t been able to clinch the title. Just how frustrating has that been as it’s certainly not due to lack of speed?
Courtney Duncan: Yeah, obviously it’s my third year here competing in WMX. Like you said, I’ve yet to win a championship and it’s been frustrating but I made a lot of mistakes, especially last year. I’m trying to eliminate the mistakes this year and so far it’s been going really good so I’m very happy.
Gatedrop: You’re based in Belgium, when you first made the move over just how were you able to adapt to living there because it’s completely different to what you’re used too!
Courtney Duncan: Even now I’m still learning a lot of things, especially with the conditions, the sand. It’s completely new to me, being from New Zealand we don’t have so much sand and definitely don’t have sand like in Lommel or Belgium. It’s been a big learning curve but I mean I enjoy it and I’m starting to get the hang of it now so it’s good.
Gatedrop: It must be quite tough for you to be on the other side of the world from you close friends and family, you must miss them!
Courtney Duncan: For sure, I definitely miss my friends and family but it’s one of those things. I’m over here on the other side of the world but I’m doing what I love and I’m enjoying it as well. I love training in Belgium and I love the sand so I think it over-weighs missing home. But for sure sometimes it is tough.
Gatedrop: Coming into this season you weren’t 100% fit as you were carrying an injury. Because of that were expectations maybe a little lower for the first round than the previous two seasons and has that maybe helped a little?
Courtney Duncan: I don’t think the expectations were any lower. Even though I didn’t have much of a pre-season I still knew I could win races. Even being 80% fit I truly believe that I can still do it. Even now I really haven’t done too much speed work because I’ve only been on the bike for two or three months and I’ve been building a base. I’m very happy with how the first half of the season has gone and I look forward to continuing to grow and getting better.
Gatedrop: You have Josh Coppins behind you, he must be a great help because he’s someone that’s been there and done it?
Courtney Duncan: Yeah, obviously I’ve been with Josh for three years now since I turned pro so it’s been awesome. Like you said, he’s been there and done it so I’ve been able to learn some stuff of him, he’s definitely helped me with racing here and even today.
Gatedrop: Just on your long term future. Obviously your goal is to win the WMX series, if you were to win that would you think about not continuing in this paddock or is this were you see your future for many years?
Courtney Duncan: I mean I haven’t really looked further afield, I’m obviously focused on this year and my goal is to win a championship. After that we will look at new goals but as of now it’s to bring home the world championship.
Pic: Martin Plesnik
Interview: Andy McKinstry