Double Women’s World Motocross Champion Courtney Duncan has confirmed today that she will be riding in the inaugural KawiGirls Kings & Queens Motocross event at the Rotorua Motorcycle Club track on Saturday.
She was waiting for her custom Kawasaki parts to arrive from Europe before announcing that she would be jumping on-board a 2021 KX250 to compete with the cream of New Zealand’s female riders in the Elite class. The parts have not made it in time but in typical Duncan fashion, she has shrugged off the set-back and will ride her Kawasaki in standard-spec.
Duncan says she had some time on the latest model KX250 overseas, where she defended her world title in November.
“It worked really well. I’m pretty excited to get a bike set up for me in the next couple of days and race it on Saturday.”
“I believe that the last time I raced in the North Island was about four years ago, which adds to the excitement of competing on home soil for me. I’ve ridden at the Rotorua track twice in the past and it was great. There should be some good times racing on Saturday and I’m looking forward to being back beside the NZ girls. I’ve been away competing internationally for so many years that I probably haven’t raced half the field!” Duncan says.
Now aged 24-years-old, Dunedin-based Duncan remembers meeting one of her motocross idols at an event when she was a young girl and what a positive impression it made on her.
“So, to be in that position and to be able to give back these days is special to me. It will be cool to interact with the girls and fans face to face, instead of them watching on tv and not seeing me in person. From my side, it is just as exciting being able to hang out with them,” Duncan says.
General Manager of Kawasaki New Zealand Mike Cotter was thrilled to hear she will be competing at the KawiGirls event.
“We’re beyond excited to watch Courtney race on home soil and appreciate her willingness to acclimatise to a new bike just a day out from racing. It’s an exciting opportunity for her fans to witness Courtney in action for free at the picturesque Rotorua Motorcycle Club track”.
Event organiser Nick Lang says having Duncan headline the 22 entries in the Elite women’s class is something special. She will be joined on the start line by Grand National Cross Country WXC Championship runner-up Rachael Archer, KawiGirls ambassador Mikayla Rowe and current New Zealand Women’s Motocross Champion Amie Roberts.
“It’s a rare occurrence to see a World Champion motocross star in action in New Zealand and this is a big deal for so many young girls and boys who get to meet their hero.”
“It’s not just Courtney’s skill and ability on a motorbike that we admire but also her determination, tenacity and relentless focus that’s so inspiring. She is a great role model for all aspiring sportspeople, not just those on the motocross track!” Lang says.
Practise begins at 9am and riders will compete on either the mini or main track. There will be a signing session during the lunch break and a MTA Mini Queen All-In Girls feature race will be held at the end of day.
Lang says that entries are looking good and there is still space for riders to sign up over the next few days.
“It would be great to see as many girls, boys and ladies enter or attend the KawiGirls Kings & Queens event. Whether they are serious motocross riders or just love dirt bikes, this is a celebration of the part that the girls play in motocross – from young female riders through to the mums, officials and volunteers who do so much for our sport. Get along and support them – this is their day!”
The KawiGirls Kings & Queens Motocross event is free to spectators, so tickets are not required.
For more information and to enter visit Kawasaki KawiGirls Kings & Queens Motocross
Event organiser Nick Lang can be contacted at: Langmx@hotmail.com
PHOTO CREDIT MONSTER ENERGY
WORDS BY CATHERINE PATTISON